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Unalaska City Council Takes No Action On Proposed Counter-Investigation

Nov 29, 2017

Unalaska City Hall.
Credit Berett Wilber/KUCB

Despite expressing doubt about the integrity of an ongoing inquiry, the Unalaska City Council has chosen not to launch a counter-investigation.

At least, not yet.

City councilors spent more than an hour in executive session Tuesday, debating whether to hire an independent investigator and receiving legal advice from City Attorney Brooks Chandler.

When they reconvened before the public, Councilor Roger Rowland unsuccessfully proposed making a hire.

“I move to adopt Resolution 2017-66,” said Rowland.

“Is there a second?" asked Mayor Frank Kelty to no response. "Motion dies from lack of a second, so no action is taken."

The probe would have focused on a council training session in June that appears to have sparked a months-long controversy and led to the resignation of former city manager Dave Martinson.

The meeting is already part of an ongoing investigation by the Unalaska Department of Public Safety, which is looking into the conduct of current and potentially former councilors.

Some councilors have argued a third-party inquiry is necessary, given Deputy Police Chief Jennifer Shockley's apparent role in Martinson’s departure.

It’s unclear if the council has decided against a counter-investigation for good, or if the matter will reappear at a future meeting.

None of the councilors commented on the closed-door discussion or Rowland’s failed motion. The city has received two bids from attorneys interested in leading an inquiry.

Meanwhile, Kelty has apologized to Shockley.

The mayor said he should have intervened during a meeting last month, when outgoing Councilor John Waldron attacked Public Safety's credibility and called Shockley a “convicted liar.”

“Two meetings ago, there was language that was used, and I didn’t step up and shut it down like I should have," said Kelty. "I want to give my sincere apologies for allowing that to happen, and it won’t happen again."

Shockley thanked the mayor for his comments. She and Public Safety Director Mike Holman have declined to comment on Waldron’s accusations.

The City Council's next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 12.