FBI completes investigation into death threats leveled against Anchorage mayor embroiled in sex scandal
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The FBI concluded its investigation into death threats levelled against the former Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz by a news anchor he admitted to having a “messaging relationship” with after the anchor claimed he posted inappropriate photos of himself to an underage website.
The FBI and Anchorage police found “no immediate evidence to support a violation of federal law; however, the FBI Anchorage Field Office continues to monitor the situation.”
Berkowitz, the top elected Democrat in Alaska, resigned Tuesday due to the affair, just days after vehemently denying allegations by YourAlaskaLink anchor Maria Athens that he had posted nude photos of himself on an underage website.
On Monday he admitted to a "consensual, inappropriate messaging relationship” with Athens, the anchor of a combined Fox/ABC station in Anchorage. She says their relationship started in 2016, and has declined to say whether it ever became sexual in nature.
Days earlier, things had taken a wild turn.
Athens left a racially-charged, profanity-laden voicemail to Berkowitz, a copy of which was obtained by The Alaska Landmine online blog.
The call opens with the caller announcing herself as Athens and listing her network affiliations. The caller claimed to have learned from sources that Berkowitz had been posting nude photos on an underage website and that she planned to report this on the evening news.
The caller threatened to kill Berkowitz, who is Jewish, and his wife.
“You either turn yourself in, kill yourself or do what you need to do,” the voicemail says.
“I can’t believe I am such a good person and thought I loved you,” the caller continued. “I don’t even hate you. I will pray for your Zionist f—–g ass. … And I’m putting this on the news tonight. Bye. Have a great Friday!”
The caller also predicted she would win an Emmy for her reporting.
On Friday, Athens released a tease for the story on her Facebook page. The mayor’s office preemptively denied the accusations: “The slanderous allegations from Your Alaska Link reporter Maria Athens are categorically false and appear to be the product of someone who is hostile and unwell.”
That same afternoon Athens posted what she claimed were photos of Berkowitz’ naked backside as proof of her allegations.
Later, Athens got in a vicious fight with her station’s manager, according to the charging documents:
Athens and the station’s manager, listed as her boyfriend, got into an argument while driving to Anchorage. He forced her to get out of the car and told her never to come back to the station.
Still, Athens went back to the studio and attacked him, according to charging documents. Police arrived and Athens hit the officer trying to arrest her. Once they got her into the police cruiser she tried to kick out the back window with her high heels. Police then placed her in full restraints.
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Athens was charged with assault, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct, and released after posting bail.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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