The Municipal Clerk has denied a recall petition against Assemblymember Meg Zaletel, according to a legal opinion obtained by the Alaska Landmine. The legal opinion was written by Municipal Attorney Kathryn Vogel and Assistant Municipal Attorney Jessica Willoughby. According to the legal opinion:
We conclude that the recall application is factually sufficient; it is sufficiently particular to allow the reader to understand the allegations, and to permit Assembly Member Zaletel to respond in 200 words. Determining the legal sufficiency of the application is more complex, and requires analysis of the governing law on open meetings in Alaska as well as factual context of the allegations in the application.
It goes on to say:
The recall application also asserts that Assembly Member Zaletel “conducted municipality business after the public presence had been prohibited within the chambers except to those approved by the assembly through means not disclosed to the public prior to the meeting.” Assuming that it is true that some persons were permitted to stay inside the assembly chambers even though general public access was routed to telephonic and written means, this also does not violate the Open Meetings Act. As long as the body provides reasonable public access to the general public, it has satisfied its statutory duties. Allowing selected members of the public to participate in-person—for example, limiting in-person access to those testifying but not to spectators, allowing municipal staff to remain in the chamber, or allowing subject matter experts with detailed technical testimony to appear in person—does not diminish the reasonableness of the opportunities provided to other members of the public.
You can read the decision and opinion here.
The petitioner, Russell Biggs, could challenge the decision in court. The attempt to recall Governor Mike Dunleavy (R – Alaska) was was initially denied by then-Attorney General Kevin Clarkson. The group, Recall Dunleavy, challenged the decision in court. The Alaska Supreme Court eventually let the recall move forward.
This is a developing story.