Anchorage library deputy director Judy Eledge resigns

·2 min read

May 9—Anchorage Public Library deputy director Judy Eledge is resigning, the mayor's office said Tuesday.

Eledge, a longtime conservative stalwart in Alaska, was appointed library director by Mayor Dave Bronson in August 2021, but after it became clear she would not be confirmed by the Assembly, she became deputy director, effectively leading the library until late last year, when Virginia McClure took the job as library director.

Eledge's tenure was fraught with controversy, as employees accused her of making racist and inappropriate comments — some of which were recorded — and fostering a hostile work environment. She was at the center of lawsuits in state and federal court over the firing of the city's former director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, who asserts she was let go in retaliation for reporting employee complaints about Eledge.

The Bronson administration is requesting city funds to settle with the former Office of Equal Opportunity director.

Eledge's resignation comes two weeks after the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica published an article that documented her history of inflammatory comments and social media posts, including statements made while working at the library and secretly recorded by an employee.

[In secret recordings, a top Anchorage library official calls Alaska Natives 'woke' and 'racists']

Bronson's office said Eledge's last day will be May 15.

Eledge did not immediately respond to interview requests by phone and email.

On Tuesday, the Anchorage Assembly was set to vote on a resolution calling for Eledge to resign.

"I don't think the resolution is necessary at this point," said the measure's main sponsor, West Anchorage Assembly member Kameron Perez-Verdia, adding he would discuss with other members whether or not to keep it on the agenda.

Perez-Verdia, who grew up in Utqiaġvik, said he pursued the resolution after numerous members of the Alaska Native community contacted him with "extreme concern" about Eledge's comments.

"I was pleased about the announcement," Perez-Verdia said. "I think it was the right choice."

Assembly Chair Christopher Constant, who co-sponsored the resolution, also said he welcomed the resignation. "The library can begin to heal," Constant said.

In March, Gov. Mike Dunleavy appointed Eledge to a national education commission. A spokesman for Dunleavy said the governor did not plan to remove Eledge from the commission. The spokesman did not answer questions about why Dunleavy plans to retain her on the commission.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.