Attorney general resigns following revelations of inappropriate texts

Attorney general resigns following revelations of inappropriate texts

Clarkson exchanged texts with a state employee

Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson resigned Tuesday shortly after revelations of inappropriate text messages exchanged with a staff member, the governor’s office announced.

“Kevin Clarkson has admitted to conduct in the workplace that did not live up to our high expectations, and this is deeply disappointing,” Gov. Mike Dunleavy said in a statement Tuesday. “This morning he took responsibility for the unintentional consequences of his actions and tendered his resignation to me. I have accepted it.”

Ed Sniffen will serve as acting Attorney General until a replacement can be appointed by the governor, Assistant Attorney General Maria Bahr said in an email.

In his resignation letter, Clarkson said he had sent a series of text messages over a month’s time with a state employee who was not under his supervision.

“All of these texts were ‘G’ rated. There is nothing remotely salacious about the texts. In our texts we exchanged innocent mutual endearments between us in words and emojis,” Clarkson wrote. “On several occasions, this person initiated a friendly hug when I came to her work place, and I reflexively gave her a tiny peck of a kiss on top of her head.”

Clarkson has been on unpaid leave after a Human Resources investigation into the matter. The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica reports he sent the woman, a state employee who did not work directly under Clarkson, 558 texts in about a month, the Associated Press reported.

Clarkson, a long-time Anchorage attorney, won confirmation by the Legislature after telling lawmakers he would not bring his personal views to the job. Gay rights and abortion rights advocates raised concerns over the socially conservative Clarkson, who helped draft the 1998 state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

That was struck down in 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, according to AP.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnoEmpire.

More in News

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the virus that causes COVID-19. Monoclonal antibodies may be a good treatment option for some people who test positive for the illness, according to state health officials. However, vaccination remains the best tool for limiting spread of COVID-19 and limiting hospitalizations. (NIAID-RML via AP, File)
COVID at a glance for Friday, Oct. 22

The latest local and state numbers.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file)
Local calls to require 10-digit dialing

People placing calls will need to dial all 10 digits in order for the call to go through.

It's a police car until you look closely. The eye shies away, the . (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Friday, Oct. 22, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a glance for Wednesday, Oct. 20

The most recent state and local figures

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a glance for Tuesday, Oct. 19

The most recent state and local figures

Agencies and family members are searching for a man reported missing on Sept. 29, 2021, whose truck was found near Perseverance Trail. (Courtesy photo / Juneau Police Department)
Search continues for man reported missing in September

The 32-year-old man has been missing for nearly a month.

Most Read