Before CBJ Wastewater Manager Andrew Bronson is arraigned Jan. 11 in Anchorage Federal District Court on two felony counts of violating the Clean Water Act, he would be well advised to get his own attorney.
Mr. Bronson reportedly has been indicted by a grand jury after allegedly diluting two water samples from the city's Mendenhall Treatment Plant before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could test them for pollution. Incidentally, Mr. Bronson's boss is City Manager Dave Palmer, who himself recently enforced an outside consultant's illegal attempt to restrict tape recording of public meetings.
In that case, City Attorney John Corso argued in Juneau Superior Court that the noise mediation meetings attended by Palmer, himself and other city, state and federal employees were not subject to Alaska's Open Meetings Act, and even if such meetings were, the act does not require the CBJ to permit tape recording of such public meetings. Former Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Jay Rabinowitz ruled that the Mediation Design Team meetings are subject to the Open Meetings Act and future taping shall be allowed.
Now certain members of the Juneau Assembly are publicly expressing support for Mr. Bronson based on briefings and a recent e-mail they have received from Mr. Corso. We can anticipate that Mr. Corso's arguments on Mr. Bronson's behalf might be that the problematic sewage treatment facility does not fall under federal authority.
Juneau mayor and assembly members: Mr. Bronson isn't the only one who should be looking for a new attorney.