NewsNational News


Police address rumors after mayor is found dead weeks after election

Posted at 9:58 PM, Dec 01, 2015

Just weeks after he took office, the mayor of Alaska’s capital has been found dead, prompting a flurry of rumors that he was assaulted.

Juneau Mayor Stephen “Greg” Fisk, 70, was found with injuries Monday, Juneau Police told CNN. “It is not clear yet if the injuries are due to an accident or other trauma,” police said, and they would not elaborate on the type of injuries or the severity.

The mayor had no gunshot wound, and authorities have no evidence suggesting a drug overdose or suicide, Juneau Police Chief Bryce Johnson told CNN affiliate KTUU. “We don’t know a cause of death,” he said.

His son found him lying on the floor of a front room, dead.

Any other answers will have to come from investigators and the autopsy report, which is scheduled for Wednesday, police said.

When the son opened the door of his father’s house, he started shouting, neighbors Don and Janet Kussart told the Juneau Empire.

The Kussarts said they live so close to Fisk’s house, they can hear the doors slam. The couple said they didn’t hear anything that sounded like an assault.

Newly elected

Juneau, population 32,000, is on Alaska’s southeastern panhandle near Canada.

Fisk’s first term as Juneau’s mayor started in October and was scheduled to end in October 2018.

He was lauded for his positive campaign against incumbent Merrill Sanford, the Alaska Dispatch News reported. Even the opponent praised him so much that a local radio reporter had to ask him who he intended to vote for.

Fisk had a background steeped in the fishing industry and was also working as a fisheries consultant, the Dispatch News said.

He said his priority as mayor would be to diversify the economy, the Juneau Empire reported.

Deputy Mayor Mary Becker will take over Fisk’s duties for now, Juneau assembly member Maria Gladziszewski told the Dispatch News.

“He had great ideas about moving Juneau forward,” Gladziszewski said. “It’s just shocking and a tragedy that he won’t be able to do that.”