Peter Segall | Juneau Empire                                Cars sit on the property of Dale Losselyong, whom the City and Borough of Juneau has accused of running an illegal junkyard, on Thursday.

Peter Segall | Juneau Empire Cars sit on the property of Dale Losselyong, whom the City and Borough of Juneau has accused of running an illegal junkyard, on Thursday.

Junkyard owner wants to tell his side

Lawyer for owner says city set ‘unachievable’ goals

Dale Losselyong, owner of an illegal junkyard in the Mendenhall Valley, decided he wanted to tell his side of the story after he saw his name in the Empire.

The Empire published an article this week about the Assembly’s decision Monday night to appropriate money for a private contractor to clear more than 200 vehicles from Losselyong’s property.

Losselyong had so far failed to comply with court orders to clear his property, the Assembly reasoned, so it seemed necessary to take action before the problem worsened. Assembly members voted to appropriate $250,000 for a private contractor.

But Losselyong said he has made progress clearing the property, and his attorney has asked for a 30-day extension of the deadline. Bureaucratic hurdles and unfair treatment on the part of the city have prevented him from being able to clear his property in a timely manner, Losselyong argued.

“Every time I did something that was right, they’d shut me down,” Losselyong said. “I’m at my wit’s end, and I don’t know what to do.”

Losselyong said he tried to attend the Assembly meeting Monday to try and explain himself, but found the doors to City Hall locked. Unable to enter the building, he said he was forced to listen to the meeting on the radio.

“They acted like I was public enemy No. 1,” he said.

Losselyong’s attorney, Brandon Marx, said good progress has been made to clear many of the vehicles off his property in the past month. On Jan. 9, Marx requested a 30-day extension from the court and they were hoping the Assembly would take that into account.

At Monday’s meeting, Assembly member Maria Gladziszewski was the only dissenting voice in the appropriation vote, saying the city should wait for Losselyong to comply.

“We’d like to make that case now to just buy a little time so he can fix this without expense to the city,” Marx said. “He has four guys that he’s working with. It takes time in order to prepare (the vehicles), to remove the tires and the fluids.”

Marx also contends the initial 90-day timeline set out by the court was unachievable because it was based on Losselyong’s own estimate of the number of vehicles, not an official count.

“Within two weeks, an official inventory was done,” Marx said. “There was no way he could get rid of all those cars in that time.”

Marx contends the court failed to work with Losselyong, who initially had no legal representation.

If the city were to follow through with its plan, it would ruin Losselyong financially, Marx said. The city would employ whatever mechanisms they can to get reimbursement.

Losselyong has admitted in court to all but one of the city’s charges, according to Emily Wright, assistant municipal attorney representing the city in the case. Marx doesn’t dispute his client is in the wrong, but he says he wants the city and the court to give Losselyong more time to fix the problem.

“The question is, is it right?” Marx said. “It could break him, it could put him into bankruptcy, everything he’s worked for may be lost.”

But the city has tried to work with Losselyong for years, said Jill Maclean, CBJ director for community development.

“We really just try and ask people to comply, it’s just easier,” Maclean said. “After 3½ years it’s reached a point where the CBJ had to take action.”

Judge Daniel Schally denied the request for a 30-day extension on Tuesday, Wright said. The City Manager’s office is still in the negotiating process with Island Contractors, the company which won the bid to clean Losselyong’s property.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at 523-2228 or psegall@juneauempire.com.

More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Jan. 22

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Juneau man indicted on child pornography charges

A Juneau man was indicted Thursday on charges of possessing or accessing… Continue reading

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire 
Juneau’s municipal and state legislative members, their staff, and city lobbyists gather in the Assembly chambers Thursday meeting for an overview of how the Alaska State Legislature and politicians in Washington, D.C., are affecting local issues.
Local leaders, lawmakers and lobbyists discuss political plans for coming year

Morning meeting looks at local impact of state, national political climates.

This photo shows pills police say were seized after a suspicious package was searched. (Juneau Police Department)
Police: 1,000 fentanyl pills, 86 grams of meth seized

Juneau man arrested on felony charges.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Friday, Jan. 27, 2023

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

A resident and his dog walk past the taped off portion of the Basin Road Trestle after it suffered damaged from a rockslide earlier this week. The trestle is open to pedestrians, but will remain closed to vehicular traffic until structural repairs are made, according to city officials. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Rocky road: Basin Road Trestle open to pedestrians, remains closed to vehicles

City officials say repairs are currently being assessed after damaging rockfall

Library Director Dave Berry and Advisory Board Chair Kate Finn participate in Library Advisory Board meeting on Tuesday Jan. 17, 2023, at Homer City Hall, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Emilie Springer/Homer News)
Homer Library Advisory Board upholds decision to retain LGBTQ+ books

A citizen’s group last year submitted a petition asking that the books be removed from the children’s section

Courtesy Photo / Juneau Police Department 
This photo shows Woodrow Farrell Eagleman who police say after going missing on Jan. 11 was seen leaving town on Jan. 12 via airport surveillance.
Police: Man reported missing took plane out of town

A Juneau man recently reported as missing was found leaving town on… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Thursday, Jan. 26

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

Most Read