Politics & Government

Alaska's Miller admits he lied about misuse of computers

Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller admitted in 2008 that he lied after being caught using Fairbanks North Star Borough computers for political purposes when he was a part-time borough lawyer.

"I lied about accessing all of the computers. I then admitted about accessing the computers, but lied about what I was doing. Finally, I admitted what I did," Miller wrote in a March 17, 2008, e-mail to Fairbanks North Star Borough Attorney Rene Broker.

Miller's admission said he went on three of his co-workers' computers to participate in a political poll and then cleared the caches. "I now understand that clearing the cache also cleared out passwords and ID's for various websites that people were using and was very hurtful (as was the simple fact that I was on their computers)," he wrote.

"As I told you on Wednesday, I acknowledge that my access to others' computers was wrong, participating in the poll was wrong, lying was wrong, and there is absolutely no excuse for any of it," he wrote.

Miller's admission was among his employee records released by the Fairbanks North Star Borough today as a result of a lawsuit by media organizations. Miller initially fought the release of the documents, but after Superior Court Judge Winston Burbank ordered most of the documents sought released, Miller decided not to file an appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court.

Former Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Jim Whitaker said earlier this month that Miller used borough computers in a failed 2008 attempt to oust state Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich. Miller first refused to answer questions from the press about it, then acknowledged he had been disciplined.

The records released by the borough today include a disciplinary letter telling Miller "you were dishonest both about your conduct and the reasons for the conduct," but had then acknowledged what he'd done. "It has been apparent in the last several months that you are under significant stress and it has affected your judgment," said the disciplinary letter from the borough attorney.

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