Marcus Sanders, left, and Megan Mackiernan are shown during a meeting of the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights on Thursday, April 18, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska. Mackiernan was elected chairman and Sanders was elected vice chair after recent departures left the commission without members in those positions. (Mark Thiessen | Associated Press)

Marcus Sanders, left, and Megan Mackiernan are shown during a meeting of the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights on Thursday, April 18, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska. Mackiernan was elected chairman and Sanders was elected vice chair after recent departures left the commission without members in those positions. (Mark Thiessen | Associated Press)

Commission plans to move ahead with apology over rifle sticker

Marti Buscaglia was supposed to write apology to truck’s owner.

A state human rights commission official indicated Thursday that the commission’s former executive director had not written a letter of apology for calling out on social media a “Black Rifles Matter” sticker on a truck in the commission’s parking lot.

Sarah Monkton told the commission that Marti Buscaglia was supposed to write an apology to the truck’s owner. “I am not aware that that occurred,” she said.

Buscaglia was suspended earlier this month for complaining on the commission’s Facebook page about the sticker, which she believed to be racist. She also was told to send the letter. She later announced her resignation.

The Associated Press did not receive an immediate response after sending a message seeking comment to Buscaglia via Facebook messenger.

Monkton, who has been acting director, said she and former commission chair Brandon Nakasato planned to call the truck’s owner to apologize. Nakasato also resigned, though, leaving that unresolved.

The commission’s new chair, Megan Mackiernan, said she would move forward with that and a press release. Monkton said Nakasato drafted a release but it was never disseminated. Mackiernan got the commission’s blessing to make edits and release it.

Mackiernan said she would recommend the statement include “an acknowledgment of the impact on public confidence in the commission,” and changes at the commission, including new leadership.

Nakasato has said his resignation was tied to the uproar and said he thought new leadership was needed for the commission to move past it. Freddie Olin IV, who was vice chair, also resigned, though for personal reasons.

Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy replaced them with Cynthia Erickson and A. Debbie Fullenwider. They along with Marcus Sanders, whom Dunleavy appointed previously, were confirmed by lawmakers Wednesday and participated in Thursday’s meeting. Sanders was elected vice chair.

Monkton recently said she would resign May 1, citing personal reasons. The commission selected Nanette Gay, an investigations director, to be interim executive director when Monkton leaves and until the commission chooses a new executive director.


• This is an Associated Press report by Becky Bohrer.


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