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Bethel City Council To Interview City Attorney Candidate Who Is Suing Gov. Mike Dunleavy

City of Bethel

During the regular meeting on Jan. 14, the Bethel City Council will do something it doesn’t usually do: conduct a job interview over live radio. The city council will interview one candidate for city attorney.

Elizabeth “Libby” Bakalar is no stranger to media coverage. For the bulk of her career, Bakalar worked for the State of Alaska as a Senior Assistant Attorney General. She was commended for her work in 2013, receiving the Attorney General’s Award for Legal Writing. However, Bakalar was fired five years later by Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration.

Bakalar believes that she was terminated because of her blog, “One Hot Mess Alaska”, in which she often criticized President Donald Trump. She is suing Dunleavy, claiming that the firing was a violation of her right to freedom of speech. Bakalar also has experience in civil litigation and currently works as an attorney in Juneau. If hired to be Bethel’s attorney, she has stated she would like to work remotely from Juneau.

There was a second finalist for the city attorney position, but he has since dropped his candidacy.

You can tune in to the interview broadcast live on KYUK at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 14, 2020.

Greg Kim is a news reporter for KYUK covering environment, health, education, public safety, culture and subsistence. He's covered everything from Newtok's relocation due to climate change-fueled erosion to the Bethel chicken massacre of 2020.