After firing Municipal Chief Equity Officer Clifford Armstrong III last week — a move that the Anchorage NAACP called “illegal,” Anchorage Mayor David Bronson continued to thumb his nose at the rule of law and has named Uluao “Junior” Aumavae as the Chief Equity Officer for the Municipality of Anchorage.
According to the Mayor’s press release, Mr. Aumavae recently worked as the Community Outreach Specialist for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Alaska as part of Operation Engage. Mr. Aumavae’s role was part of a comprehensive approach that targets the top drug threat in a community, supports drug use prevention efforts, and bridges the gap between public safety and public health efforts.
In a press release issued yesterday, the Anchorage NAACP wrote that Mayor needed to re-hire Clifford Armstrong III, because his “firing was illegal,” and called on Mayor Bronson to “come clean” with the public about an Equity Officer’s report that the Anchorage NAACP says the Bronson administration is trying to cover up.
According to the Anchorage NAACP, Chief Equity Officer Armstrong wrote a report documenting the city’s failure to comply with federal civil rights laws, a failure the Anchorage NAACP says puts at risk federal funding used by the city. Anchorage NAACP also said in their press release that Armstrong was terminated after sharing the final report with high-ranking Bronson administration staff in an apparent attempt to cover up the report.
Armstrong confirmed that he was fired to Alaska’s News Source via text message late Sunday night.
“I can confirm that the administration took measures to keep me from actively performing my job by involuntarily separating me on Thursday, October 7th,” he wrote. “As you likely are aware, per the muni code, it is not within their authority to do so without cause and approval of the assembly. They gave me no cause, and the assembly was not consulted.”
Mr. Aumavae’s appointment is subject to approval by the Anchorage Assembly.