Assemblyman Claims Complaint was Part of Plan to Embarrass Him


Jay Barrett/KMXT
Things got a little tense after the second executive session held at last Thursday’s Kodiak Island Borough Assembly meeting. A third private session behind closed doors was brought out into the open, at the request of Assemblyman Mel Stephens, who was the subject of the executive session.
The session was schedule to hear from the borough’s attorney about a complaint filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission by Mayor Jerome Selby against Assemblyman Stephens. After a very short teleconference briefing by attorney Cheryl Brooking, Selby was ready to move on, but Stephens wasn’t.

— (Stephens APOC 1 58 sec “And that brings us to the … appeal your decision to the assembly. Very well.”)

That exchange was just after borough attorney Cheryl Brooking phoned into the meeting and gave a brief report to the assembly.

— (Stephens APOC 2 25 sec “The correspondence that I had … in litigation against the borough.”)

Though the assembly voted 4-3 against allowing him to continue at the time, Stephens took the opportunity of the assembly comments a few minutes later at the end of the meeting to respond:

— (Stephens APOC 3 28 sec “That was not a means of getting … she was the source of a good bit of this.”)

Stephens went on to explain that he thought Brooking initiated the APOC filing after her law firm faced him in court:

— (Stephens APOC 4 54 sec “Because the performance of Ms. Brooking’s … for Helen Ingve, right? That was well over a year ago.”)

Stephens had previously asked the APOC complaint and his response be included in Thursday’s meeting agenda packet, which it wasn’t. He said that earlier on Thursday the APOC staff cleared him of any alleged wrong-doing, and upsetting what he claims was a choreographed plan to embarrass him:

— (Stephens APOC 5 35 sec “I object to the fact that the complaint … report, which he had.”)

The full commission of the APOC will be meeting in early April to review its staff recommendations, including this one filed by Selby against Stephens. Neither the mayor nor other assembly members commented further on the APOC issue at the meeting.

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