PALMER, Alaska (AP) — The top emergency official in the borough north of Alaska’s biggest city resigned, claiming employees and assembly members undermined his actions.
Otto Feather resigned earlier this month after serving as the director of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough emergency services department since January 2017, the Anchorage Daily News reported this week.
Borough Manager John Moosey accepted Feather’s resignation Tuesday.
Feather had faced criticism over a lack of public information following the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that rocked Anchorage and other parts of south-central Alaska on Nov. 30.
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He did not respond to the newspaper’s request for comment Wednesday.
In his resignation letter, Feather makes references to “institutional parochialisms, selfishness and duplicity” and “unchecked sabotage” by borough employees and assembly members.
“I believe (the department of emergency services) has the talent and determination to meet the many challenges faced going forward,” Feather wrote in his letter to the borough manager. “However, I am not convinced borough agencies and political leadership recognize the gravity of the effort and/or have the will to provide the backing necessary to support it.”
Moosey thanked Feather for his service in a letter responding to the resignation.
“There is no one else that I would have wanted to direct our disaster response during the November 30th Cook Inlet Earthquake,” Moosey wrote. “The precision work by the team was second to none.”
The borough manager declined to answer the newspaper’s questions about Feather’s claims of internal subterfuge.
“I like to think we’re a professional organization in a political environment,” Moosey said. “We try to provide the best service we can but we serve the public.”
Deputy emergency services director Ken Barkley was named the department’s interim director. An external search will be conducted for a new director, Moosey said.
Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com