In a recent story about the abrupt resignation of Sitka Tribal Council member Ben Miyasato which was broadcast and published by KCAW News:
We reported that council members Wilbur Brown and Woody Widmark declined to comment on allegations made by Miyasato that the pair overstepped their authority as members of an informal subcommittee looking into the firing of the Tribe’s director of social services.
It would be more accurate to say that Brown and Widmark were prohibited from commenting by the Tribe’s Code of Conduct, without the permission of the Tribal chair.
Tribal Chair KathyHope Erickson responded to our requests for an interview, and her comments are included in the original story, as are those of former chair Mike Baines. Although general manager Lisa Gassman also was invited to comment, she declined. After the story’s publication she sent a formal statement which reads in part, “The items raised by former Council member Ben Miyasato are confidential in nature, and therefore STA cannot comment further on this matter.”
Read the full STA Media Statement here.
From the STA Code of Conduct:
2.04 Public Statements
Only the Tribal Chairman, or in his or her absence, the Presiding Officer, and the STA General Manager are authorized to speak on behalf of STA. Tribal Council members must obtain permission from the Tribal Chairman before speaking with the media or on behalf of STA. Employees or agents of STA must obtain permission from the STA General Manager before Speaking with the media or on behalf of STA.