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Mayor of Anchorage resigns after threats from anchorwoman, admits to inappropriate relationship

PHOTO CREDITS: ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS

The mayor of Anchorage, Alaska submitted his resignation Tuesday evening after threats from a TV anchorwoman, according to CBS News.

The resignation comes four days after an anchorwoman at a local television station threatened to report that he had posted nude photos of himself on a website. Mayor Ethan Berkowitz denied the allegations at first, but on Monday he admitted that he had an inappropriate relationship with the anchor at a Fox/ABC combined station in Anchorage, Maria Athens.

“It is with profound sadness and humility that I resign as mayor of the Municipality of Anchorage,” he said in a statement read at the Anchorage Assembly meeting by his chief of staff and later emailed to the media. “My resignation results from unacceptable personal conduct that has compromised my ability to perform my duties with the focus and trust that is required,” Berkowitz wrote. Berkowitz, 58, noted that his conduct did great injury to his wife, their family, his staff and the people of Anchorage. “For that, I am deeply sorry,” he said.

Audio of a profane and racist-laden voicemail also surfaced late Monday, in which a woman who identified herself as Athens and who rattled off her network affiliations threatened to kill Berkowitz, who is Jewish, and his wife. The audio of the Friday morning phone call to Berkowitz was obtained by the online blog The Alaska Landmine.

“The FBI Anchorage Field Office coordinated with the Anchorage Police Department in the early stages of their investigation into allegations made against Mayor Berkowitz, concerning inappropriate photos on an underage website and threatening communications he received,” an FBI statement released Tuesday said. “Based on that initial investigation, there was no immediate evidence to support a violation of federal law; however, the FBI Anchorage Field Office continues to monitor the situation.”

Athens was arrested later Friday after trespassing in the television studio after being told she could not return there. She allegedly accosted the station manager, who’s charging documents identified as her boyfriend, and she was arrested by police. Her story never aired. Athens was charged with assault, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct. She was released Monday after posting bail.

ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR: CONNOR KMIECIK

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