North Pole mayor fined for misusing newsletter

Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2011

FAIRBANKS — The Alaska Public Offices Commission fined North Pole Mayor Doug Isaacson $1,800 for using a newsletter to influence a recall election against him.

The commission found last week that he violated the law last summer by casting a negative light on the recall, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Wednesday.

Isaacson, who survived the recall vote in October, said the newsletter was part of his customary duties and he summarized the recall like any community issue.

A member of a community group that filed the complaint, former City Councilwoman Dianna Lindhag, called the fine fair.

“There is a state statute, and it was violated,” she said. “The original APOC complaint was filed to prohibit Mr. Isaacson from continuing to fund his agenda and lifestyle on the backs of city taxpayers.”

The recall group accused Isaacson of misusing personal leave, expenses and city credit card privileges, and failing to collect sales taxes from a defunct restaurant.

The commission report said Isaacson cast the opposition in a negative light and minimized the issue by saying every mayor has opponents and “the negative side is when it becomes personal or unfounded.”

At a hearing on the issue, Isaacson described the newsletter as neutral.

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