Politics & Government

Alaska's Miller admits he violated borough ethics policy

Republican U.S. Senate nominee Joe Miller acknowledged Monday that he was disciplined for violating the Fairbanks North Star Borough's ethics policy in 2008 when he was a part-time borough lawyer.

The statement, made in an interview on CNN, represents a reversal for Miller, who vowed last week not to answer any questions about his past after questions were raised about his borough work history. Miller, while continuing to refuse to speak with the Daily News and some other Alaska news media, went on CNN on Monday and conceded to anchor John King that he had been disciplined.

"John, I'll admit I'm a man of many flaws. I'm not going to sit back and say that I've conducted my life perfectly," Miller told the CNN anchor. "I will tell you that anything that I've done that's not right, it's been accounted for and it's been taken care of and I move on and I learn from mistakes."

Former Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Jim Whitaker, who was Miller's boss, said last week that Miller used borough computers for political purposes in 2008 when he organized a failed effort to oust state Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich. Whitaker said Miller was disciplined for the violation of the borough's ethics code but was not fired because he was part of a legal team that was in the middle of a case over how much to tax the trans-Alaska oil pipeline.

The borough's ethics policy does not allow employees to engage in politics on the job or with government equipment. Miller did not provide details on CNN of what exactly he'd done to be disciplined, and Miller's campaign refused interview requests on Monday to discuss it. Miller e-mailed a statement saying "the incident had nothing to do with my departure from the Fairbanks North Star Borough nearly a year and a half later. My statement on CNN is accurate."

Miller has refused to release his borough personnel files and news organizations are suing to get them. The candidate's private security team handcuffed and detained a reporter Sunday who was trying to ask Miller about the borough employment after an Anchorage town hall meeting, with the private security firm alleging that the reporter was hounding Miller and had shoved someone.

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