Land and property disposal at Sitka’s Gary Paxton Industrial Park has been contentious since the site was donated by the Alaska Pulp Corporation in 1998, five years after the closure of the mill. (GPIP photo)

Former mayor Marko Dapcevich is suing the City of Sitka for violating procurement procedures at Gary Paxton Industrial Park.

Dapcevich filed suit in Sitka Superior Court on March 30, naming the City of Sitka and administrator Mark Gorman as co-defendants.

Dapcevich, who works full-time outside of Sitka but still owns a home here, has been bird-dogging the issue since last December, when he filed an extensive public records request. Dapcevich sought material related to the procurement of the industrial park’s floating dock — a bid which was awarded to Turnagain Marine Construction.

Although the city released some of the documents Dapcevich requested, it withheld correspondence between assembly members and city staff on the issue, on the grounds that the emails were protected by attorney-client privilege.

Dapcevich appealed the city’s decision to the assembly on March 14, and was denied.

Dapcevich’s correspondence with the assembly has escalated to accusation. He alleges that, by failing to investigate their employees’ (i.e. Gorman and municipal attorny Brian Hanson) handling of the GPIP dock, the assembly is “as guilty as them.”

Dapcevich’s attorney is Joe Geldhof, who represented the organization Sitkans for Responsible Government in its efforts to put an initiative on the ballot in 2008, which would have given voters more control over land sales at the industrial park.

Note: Marko Dapcevich was first elected to the Sitka assembly in 2000, was re-elected in 2003, and served until October 2004, when he was elected to the first of two terms as mayor. In December of 2007 he announced his candidacy for the Alaska Legislature, but later withdrew his name due to a conflict under the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from running partisan elections (he was a US Mail carrier at the time). He left the office of mayor at the end of his term in October, 2008.