Sexual Harassment, Civil Rights & Public Corruption
Officer Mary Ferguson v. City of Sitka et al.

 

The information on this page is a matter of public record.

Officer Mary Ferguson was found to have been sexually harassed by her immediate supervisor (sexual harassment is a crime) during an investigation into her allegations by the City of Sitka. However, no criminal charges were filed and no sanctions levied. The person responsible - Sgt. Walt Smith - was actually promoted. However, he resigned once these findings were made public by her civil rights lawsuit and The FCI's disclosures to The Assembly.

Subsequent to the Investigation and public reporting by the FCI (2018 / 2019 / FCI Forensic Assessment / Amicus Inquisitio), both the police supervisor involved (Lt. Walt Smith) and the Chief of Police (Jeff Ankerfelt) have resigned - and the City Administrator, Keith Brady, has been fired. 

In 2019, upon recommendation by The FCI and Officer Ferguson, The City agreed to set aside money for an independent investigation into Sitka Police Department. This investigation was quashed by a newly appointed chief of police who hired a convicted criminal as his operations lieutenant. He also fired Officer Ferguson.

In 2020, Officer Ferguson reached a plea agreement with The Sitka Police Department. While the City admitted no fault, she was awarded $515,000 in damages by the City. She was also empowered to conduct her own independent audit of the department.

“Historically, the Sitka Police Department

has been a depressing place to work.

When I first started there, I thought the environment

was completely toxic. It was ‘Lord of the Flies.’

And that challenge persists today."

- Jeff Ankerfelt, former Sitka Police Chief (2016-2019)

 
Sexual Harassment, Civil Rights & Public Corruption
Officer Mary Ferguson v. City of Sitka et al.

FORENSIC REPORTS

1. FCI Notification of Intent and Request for Assistance, 
   October 31, 2018

 

 

 

2. FCI Forensic Assessment / Amicus Inquisitio, 
    January 8, 2019

3. Settlement Agreement

 

 

 

 

MEDIA REPORTS

Sitka Tribe, police defuse tension following tasing video

Posted by Robert Woolsey, KCAW | Dec 11, 2015

Sitka police officer files sexual harassment lawsuit

by Emily Kwong, KCAW | Oct 16, 2018

 

ALASKA NATIVE FEMALE POLICE OFFICER SUES POLICE DEPARTMENT WHERE SHE IS EMPLOYED

BY LEVI RICKERT, Native News | OCT 15, 2018

 

Sitka police whistleblower suit set for trial in September 2019

by Robert Woolsey, KCAW | Nov 2, 2018

Sitka police chief: low pay, ‘toxic’ work environment affecting officers

by Katherine Rose, KCAW | January 25, 2019

 

Trial date set in Sitka police sexual harassment suit

by Robert Woolsey, KCAW | Feb 26, 2019

 

Assembly to consider outside investigation of police department

by Katherine Rose, KCAW | Feb 28, 2019

 

Third lawsuit filed against Sitka Police Department

by Robert Woolsey, KCAW | Mar 5, 2019

 

Assembly earmarks $35,000 for SPD investigation

by Katherine Rose, KCAW | Mar 29, 2019

SITKA POLICE AND FIRE COMMISSION

Wednesday, May 22, 2019; Note: Newly appointed by City Administrator Keith Brady, Interim Chief Robert Baty hires Lt. Jean Achee, who was forced to resign as Lt. in Wasilla, in 2013, because of a conviction for drunk driving involving a city vehicle. Lt. Achee is apparently an old friend. Does not inform the City Assembly about this criminal history.

See:  Longtime WPD officer tagged with DUI, Aug 3, 2013

 

Police chief ready to call Sitka home again

Posted by Katherine Rose, KCAW | May 31, 2019

 

ASSEMBLY HOLDS OFF ON HIRING INVESTIGATOR, PLANNING DIRECTOR

by Katherine Rose, KCAW | Apr 12, 2019

Split assembly fires city administrator

Posted by Katherine Rose, KCAW | Jun 12, 2019

Note: Keith Brady publicly fired during assembly meeting.

Whistle blowers: demoted Sitka detectives ordered back to work

Jill Burke, KTUU - July 11, 2019


Sitka Assembly takes no action on police investigation

by Katherine Rose, KCAW | August 16, 2019

Former Sitka officer wins harassment settlement, promises investigation of police

by Katherine Rose, KCAW | August 18, 2020

"Sitka Police Department Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit with Sex Crimes Detective"

FCI Press Release - August 26, 2020

 

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