Human Rights Commission head resigns

    Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - Marti Buscaglia submitted her letter of resignation effective April 26.

    The Human Rights Commission had voted 5-2 last week to retain Buscaglia but suspend her for 15 days without pay.

    The House minority began an investigation into the incident after that decision.  Minority Leader Rep. Lance Pruitt said despite the resignation, they intend to continue the probe.  "While we're happy to see that Ms. Buscaglia will be moving on from the position, we're still very concerned about the culture that was created under her at the Commission for Human Rights.  If her leadership and values, in any way, allowed for the systematic suppression of rights, we're going to do everything we can to root it out."

    Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard said she felt the resignation was a great victory for free speech and for Alaskans, "Anyone who enables this sort of civil rights violation, as the Commission did by retaining Buscaglia in the first place, has breached the public's trust and need not be serving in government.  I call on Governor Dunleavy to take swift action in removing the commissioners responsible for this egregious oversight."

    Buscaglia came under scrutiny after she left a note and her business card on the window of a truck parked in a lot outside of the Human Rights Commission Offices in Anchorage.  The sticker contained a tactical rifle image and the words, "Black Rifles Matter."

    In her resignation letter, Buscaglia says she has been considering retirement for some time. She wrote she considers her leaving now to be in the commission's best interest so it can continue its work and put the controversy behind it.



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