ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — Gov. Bill Walker said Friday that the “inappropriate” statement that led to Byron Mallott’s resignation as lieutenant governor was made to “an adult female” and was cleared as “non-criminal” by Alaska’s Department of Law.
In a sidewalk interview after he cast an early ballot for the Nov. 6 general election, Walker, an independent, continued to decline to provide specifics about what Mallott had said or done that led to his resignation on Oct. 16, just three weeks before the election. On Oct. 19, Walker dropped out of the race for governor in a speech to the Alaska Federation of Natives.
In his speech, Walker threw his support to Democrat Mark Begich, though Walker’s name still appears on the ballot.
“I did not vote for myself,” Walker said in the interview Friday after casting his early ballot. “I voted for Mark Begich.”
Also running for governor is Republican Mike Dunleavy.
In the interview Friday, Walker said he hoped the woman would speak publicly about what happened between her and Mallott.
“The victim is going to tell the story — I think so,” Walker said. “I don’t know for sure, but it’s hers to tell.”
Walker criticized as “misstatements” and “lies” the assertions by some bloggers that Mallott’s statement was made to a teenager.
Walker’s aides had earlier said that the victim didn’t work for Mallott and Walker himself has said the victim wasn't a member of his administration.
“It was an adult female with no minor involved in that,” Walker said. “We had the attorney general’s office look at the facts of the situation and determine was there any criminal activity involved, and they determined no, it was not.”
After the resignation, Health and Social Services Commissioner Valerie Davidson took Mallott’s place.
Walker said the situation is one in which the privacy of the victim is so important that it requires him to forego transparency.
“Because there was no criminal activity, we are going to be very protective of her, to our own detriment,” Walker said. “That’s really hard for me to say because I pride myself in (being) open and transparency with the public and this is really the only scenario, protecting an individual in a situation like that, that’s the only scenario that I would not.”
Walker said that Mallott “tendered his resignation without any influence from me” two days after making the statement to the woman. Walker said he learned of the situation 16 hours before Mallott resigned.
“It was taken care of right away,” Walker said.