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    Married Mayor of Anchorage, 58, QUITS and says he is ‘deeply sorry’ after admitting to ‘inappropriate relationship’ with local news host, 41, who shared a naked photo of him to Facebook

    • Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, 58, resigned from his position on Tuesday
    • His chief of staff read a statement at the meeting of the Anchorage Assembly, saying: ‘It is with profound sadness and humility that I resign as Mayor’
    • Attendees cheered before he added: ‘My resignation results from unacceptable personal conduct that has compromised my ability to perform my duties’ 
    • On Monday, Berkowitz admitted to having a messaging relationship with Anchorage TV reporter Maria Athens, 41, several years ago
    • His acknowledgement of the relationship came after Athens falsely accused him of posting nude photos of himself to a website featuring underage girls
    • She also shared a nude photo on Facebook that she claimed was Berkowitz 
    • Berkowitz denied the ‘slanderous allegations’ and described Athens as being ‘hostile and unwell’ 
    • Municipal Manager Bill Falsey said authorities concluded that ‘it would be untenable for the mayor to continue in his role’ and the mayor thought the same
    • The mayor’s role end at 6pm on October 23 to ensure a smooth transition 

    The married mayor of Anchorage, Alaska has resigned after admitting to having an ‘inappropriate messaging relationship’ with a local TV reporter just days after she made false allegations that he had shared images of his genitals on a website featuring underage girls. 

    TV reporter Maria Athens, 41, also posted a naked photo online that she claimed was Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, 58, who on Monday admitted the relationship happened several years ago. 

    Berkowitz didn’t appear at the meeting of the Anchorage Assembly on Tuesday but his chief of staff Jason Bockenstedt read a statement which garnered cheers from attendees.

    ‘It is with profound sadness and humility that I resign as Mayor of the Municipality of Anchorage,’ Jason Bockenstedt read before being interrupted by applause and cheering.

    Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, 58, resigned from his position on Tuesday. On Monday admitted to having a consensual relationship with 41-year-old Anchorage TV reporter Maria Athens several years ago. They are pictured above together in 2018

    His chief of staff read a statement at the meeting of the Anchorage Assembly, saying: 'It is with profound sadness and humility that I resign as Mayor'

    His chief of staff read a statement at the meeting of the Anchorage Assembly, saying: ‘It is with profound sadness and humility that I resign as Mayor’

    After attendees were instructed to stop by Assembly Chair Felix Rivera, Bockenstedt added on behalf of the mayor: ‘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.’ 

    The mayor’s time will come to an end at 6pm on October 23 to ensure a smooth transition.

    Municipal Manager Bill Falsey said at the meeting that as a police investigation was ongoing they created a ‘firewall’ between the mayor and the City to ensure a probe that was ‘by the book.’

    Despite the FBI finding no wrongdoing, authorities concluded that ‘it would be untenable for the mayor to continue in his role’ and ‘the mayor independently arrived at the same conclusion,’ Falsey said. 

    A special election could be held as Alaska’s largest city isn’t due for another election until April.

    Assemblywoman Jamie Allard made a motion to reorganize to choose a new chair on Tuesday but it failed 8-3. 

    Municipal Manager Bill Falsey said authorities concluded that 'it would be untenable for the mayor to continue in his role' and the mayor thought the same

    Municipal Manager Bill Falsey said authorities concluded that ‘it would be untenable for the mayor to continue in his role’ and the mayor thought the same

    'My resignation results from unacceptable personal conduct that has compromised my ability to perform my duties with the focus and trust that is required,' Berkowitz continued in the statement

    The nature of messages he shared with Athens is unknown

    ‘My resignation results from unacceptable personal conduct that has compromised my ability to perform my duties with the focus and trust that is required,’ Berkowitz continued in the statement. The nature of messages he shared with Athens is unknown

    Athens has interviewed Berkowitz on several occasions.  Berkowitz was elected to his second three-year term as mayor in 2018

    Athens has interviewed Berkowitz on several occasions.  Berkowitz was elected to his second three-year term as mayor in 2018

    Berkowitz has two children with his wife Mara Kimmel

    '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,' Berkowitz said

    ‘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,’ Berkowitz said in the statement. He has two children with his wife Mara Kimmel (pictured above)

    He has recently been unpopular due to coronavirus lockdowns. 

    In an earlier statement before his resignation Berkowitz said: ‘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.

    ‘I’m embarrassed and ashamed for the hurt I’ve caused my family and our community. I take responsibility for my actions.’  

    It is not clear how long the relationship between Berkowitz and Athens lasted and what the messages involved. 

    Berkowitz has two children with his wife Mara Kimmel.  

    The ordeal started when Athens, the anchor for the combined Fox/ABC station in Anchorage that operates as Your Alaska Link, first posted a video on her Facebook page on Friday.

    Athens claimed she would break a story that Berkowitz had posted nude photos of himself to a website that featured underage girls. The video appeared to be filmed by someone else on a cellphone inside the TV studio.

    The ordeal started to unfold when Athens, the anchor for the combined Fox/ABC station in Anchorage that operates as Your Alaska Link, first posted a video on her Facebook page on Friday

    The ordeal started to unfold when Athens, the anchor for the combined Fox/ABC station in Anchorage that operates as Your Alaska Link, first posted a video on her Facebook page on Friday

    ‘Breaking news. According to reliable sources, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowtiz has his male genitalia posted on an underage girls website,’ Athens said in the video. 

    Athens then posted on Facebook a photo of what she claimed was the mayor's nude back side with the caption: 'Proof'. She offered no context for the photo and it has not been confirmed if it is Berkowitz

    Athens then posted on Facebook a photo of what she claimed was the mayor’s nude back side with the caption: ‘Proof’. She offered no context for the photo and it has not been confirmed if it is Berkowitz

    She went on to say that national news outlet would cover the allegations, saying: ‘You heard it here first’.

    The story that Athens promised to break never aired.

    After the video started circulating online, Berkowitz’s office immediately denied the unsubstantiated allegations. 

    His office issued a statement saying the ‘slanderous allegations’ were ‘categorically false’ and that they ‘appear to be the product of someone who is hostile and unwell.’  

    Athens then posted on Facebook a photo of what she claimed was the mayor’s nude back side with the caption: ‘Proof’.

    She offered no context for the photo and it has not been confirmed if it is Berkowitz. 

    Hours after posting the video and photo, Athens was arrested at the TV studios on Friday afternoon after getting into a physical altercation with her station manager Scott Centers.

    According to court documents obtained by the Anchorage Daily News, Athens is in a romantic relationship with Centers. 

    She is accused of punching Centers and hitting him with her cellphone during an argument inside a car in the parking lot.

    She allegedly then hit Centers again inside the TV studio, court documents say.  

    Police said that when she was taken into custody, Athens allegedly hit one of the officers in the chest and tried to kick the door of the police car.  

    She was charged with misdemeanor assault, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. 

    Athens was released on bail on Saturday.  

    CEO of Coastal Television Bill Fielder distanced the network from Athens, saying the claims made by on her personal Facebook page about Berkowitz were never published by any of its news outlets.

    Fielder said they had demanded Athens remove any mention or affiliation with the company in connection to the claims about Berkowitz.

    The video and photo remained on Athens’ Facebook page as of Tuesday. 

    Fielder would not confirm if Athens has been fired. 

    After posting the video and photo, Athens was arrested at the TV studios on Friday afternoon after getting into a physical altercation with her station manager Scott Centers who she was in a relationship with. It is not clear if Athens has been fired from the station

    Police said they had stationed officers at Berkowitz’s home over the weekend after a threat was made against him.

    They would not confirm the nature of the threat. 

    Local news outlet the Anchorage Press on Monday obtained a voicemail they say Athens left for Berkowitz on Friday in which she threatened to kill him and made anti-Semitic remarks.

    Hours after posting the video and photo, Athens was arrested at the TV studios on Friday afternoon after getting into a physical altercation with her station manager Scott Centers. According to court documents obtained by the Anchorage Daily News , Athens is in a romantic relationship with Centers

    Hours after posting the video and photo, Athens was arrested at the TV studios on Friday afternoon after getting into a physical altercation with her station manager Scott Centers. According to court documents obtained by the Anchorage Daily News , Athens is in a romantic relationship with Centers

    ‘Ethan, it’s Maria Athens from Fox/NBC/CW/News Net National Alaska,’ the woman in the recording says. 

    ‘I’m so f***ing exposing you. I’m gonna get an Emmy. So you either turn yourself in, kill yourself, or do what you need to do. I will personally kill you and Mara Kimmel my god damn self, you Jewish piece of living f***ing s**t. You have met your match, motherf***er.

    ‘I am such a good person and thought I loved you.’  

    It is not clear if that voicemail is the same threat mention by police. 

    In his statement acknowledging the relationship, Berkowitz said: ‘It takes time to rebuild trust and I hope you afford me the opportunity to do so. During the remaining months of my term, I will continue working on the important issues we face.’ 

    Berkowitz was elected to his second three-year term as mayor in 2018. The non-partisan position is limited to two terms. He is a native of San Francisco who is also a lawyer and Anchorage businessman. 

    He served as a Democrat in the Alaska House of Representative from 1997-2006. He served the last two years as minority leader.

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