The mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, announced his resignation Tuesday after he admitted to an “inappropriate messaging relationship” with a TV news anchor who reportedly posted nude photos of him online and allegedly threatened to kill him.
“It is with profound sadness and humility that I resign as Mayor of the Municipality of Anchorage,” Democratic Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said in a statement, according to Alaska’s News Source. “My resignation results from unacceptable personal conduct that has compromised my ability to perform my duties with the focus and trust that is required.”
“I know my conduct has done great injury to my family, my staff, to Municipal employees, and to the people of our community, and for that, I am deeply sorry,” he continued.
Berkowitz was roiled with controversy after he admitted to a “consensual, inappropriate messaging relationship” with local TV anchor Maureen “Maria” Athens, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
“I apologize to the people of Anchorage for a major lapse in judgment I made several years ago when I had a consensual, inappropriate messaging relationship with reporter Maria Athens,” Berkowitz wrote in a Monday statement obtained by the local outlet.”I’m embarrassed and ashamed for the hurt I’ve caused my family and our community. I take responsibility for my actions.”
Athens on Friday posted a story that alleged that the mayor posted lewd photographs on a website for underage girls, the local outlet reported. A subsequent FBI investigation cleared Berkowitz of criminal wrongdoing, and the mayor referred to Athens as “hostile and unwell” in response to her accusations, according to the Daily News.
Athens allegedly left the mayor a voicemail in which she called him a “Jewish piece of living fucking shit” and threatened to kill him, according to the Anchorage Press.
In the voicemail, Athens reportedly called Berkowitz “a pedophile and like little girls and children, and there’s a website,” according to the Anchorage Press. “I’m so fucking exposing you. I’m gonna get an Emmy. So you either turn yourself in, kill yourself, or do what you need to do,” she allegedly said, according to the local outlet.
“I will personally kill you and Mara Kimmel my god damn self, you Jewish piece of living fucking shit. You have met your match, motherfucker. You have met your motherfucking match,” she added, according to the local outlet.
The TV anchor then reportedly uploaded naked photos of Berkowitz two times, garnering mass attention on social media, the Daily News wrote.
Athens, following the apparent nude picture leak, was arrested by local law enforcement after she allegedly punched Scott Centers, a cable news producer and her romantic partner, inside of a news station, according to a charging document obtained by the Daily News.
Alaska news anchor Maria Athens has been arrested on assault charges—and she’s been banned from her station’s property.
— TVSpy (@TVSpyNews) October 12, 2020
The disgraced reporter also struck an officer and tried to kick her way out of a police cruiser, the document read.
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