September 12, 2013 | Volume 43, Number 36

Required form on Lowe lagging

Haines Borough Manager Mark Earnest is nearly two months overdue in filing a required form to a statewide police oversight agency regarding the resignation of former police chief Gary Lowe.

The Alaska Police Standards Council form requires the departing officer’s boss (Earnest) to answer four questions, including if the employee resigned in lieu of termination, if the employee was under investigation for any wrong-doing, if the officer’s boss would rehire the officer, and if the officer’s boss would recommend decertification.

A detailed explanation is required if the department head answers “yes” to the termination, investigation, or decertification questions, or “no” to the rehire question.

Council executive director Kelly Alzaharna said the form is due 30 days after an employee’s resignation. Lowe’s resignation was effective June 17.

Alzaharna said as of Friday, she hadn’t received the form from Earnest.

Alzaharna said there is no penalty for late filing and that it isn’t uncommon for this to happen when police chiefs leave a department, as the bosses of police chiefs usually aren’t in the police department and are unfamiliar with APSC procedures.

After receiving a call from the CVN, Alzaharna called Earnest Friday to remind him to fill out the form.

Earnest said he is familiar with APSC procedures and began filling out the form in April, when Lowe technically left the job, but said “things changed.”

“I started the process and I was aware of it, but I just got sidetracked or busy,” Earnest said.

He said he would have the form completed and submitted by Monday, but Alzaharna did not return calls Wednesday to confirm receipt of the form.

When the CVN asked for a copy of the completed form, Earnest said he will need to consult with the borough attorney first to see if it is legally releasable.

“I don’t know if it is or not. I’ll find out if is releasable, and if it is, I will (release it),” he said.

The APSC is responsible for issuing and revoking police certification in Alaska.