The state has taken over a local investigation into the Unalaska City Council.
Interim City Manager Nancy Peterson said the Alaska State Troopers assumed full responsibility for the inquiry last week. But she declined to comment on the scope of the case.
“I think it’s common knowledge in the community that there is an ongoing investigation -- and that the investigation, at some level, involves at least one elected official,” said Peterson.
Former councilor Yudelka Leclere has suggested the inquiry stems from a personnel controversy that erupted this summer between the council and former city manager Dave Martinson regarding Deputy Police Chief Jennifer Shockley.
Peterson said the Unalaska Department of Public Safety has tried to hand off the investigation since it began, seeking the Troopers to act as an independent party.
“It is part of their role and mission to try to remove a case where even the perception of a conflict of interest might occur," she said.
Peterson said the Troopers only agreed to take the case after Police Chief Mike Holman announced his retirement.
“Our manpower is going to be severely restricted, or it’s certainly going to take a hit," she said. "In order to do the investigation properly, we need some help.”
Peterson said the Troopers have received all of the materials from the local investigation. Now, it’s up to them to conduct the inquiry as they see fit.
“There could very well be a presence in the community as the Troopers review the case and decide whether they’re going to redo any of the interviews that had been conducted," she said. "They will certainly come to town if that need is there.”
The Troopers have not responded to requests for comment.