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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Alaska Mayor Resigns After Being Investigated for Long-Standing ‘Romantic Relationship’ with His TV Anchor

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View Slideshow Photo: The Los Angeles Times/© 2016 Los Angeles Times

Andrew Jakubowski was a popular veteran Anchorage TV newscaster who charmed viewers with his ability to dance while reporting on a beach cleanup; in May, the actress Leslie Jones tweeted Jakubowski’s starring role in a sketch from NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

Now, Jakubowski is out of a job. On Friday, the Mayor of Anchorage resigned after acknowledging that he has a “long-standing romantic relationship” with Anchorage TV anchor Amanda Benson. Anchorage police confirmed that they are still investigating the relationship, and they said the investigation is ongoing.

In August, Jakubowski said he had gotten into an argument with Benson when she called him in while he was on vacation. The following week, when Anchorage news director Mike Anderson hired Benson, a local reporter, in his new role as general manager, the mayor was made to understand that their relationship was being investigated.

On Friday, the Anchorage Daily News reported that Jakubowski had taken Benson and her husband, Scott, to Israel on his $36,000 annual salary, which was earning him the same per diem he earned as the mayor. The state of Alaska is not able to pay their airfare at that rate because they’re not on an official business trip. The governor’s office called this a personal matter and did not comment further.

On the morning of Friday’s emergency city council meeting to discuss Jakubowski’s plans to file for bankruptcy, the Mayor of Anchorage, Dan Sullivan, announced that Jakubowski had stepped down as Mayor.

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