SNC postpones 2017 board elections
For the second time since the original elections were scheduled for June 3, Sitnasuak Native Corporation has postponed its annual meeting and board elections. The new date has not been set yet.
The recent cancellation of the 2017 Sitnasuak board elections that were to take place in Anchorage on September 30 is due to legal proceedings that remain unresolved.
SNC is in a civil lawsuit against three of its current board directors and one candidate. The lawsuit complaint alleges that directors Charles Fagerstrom, Barbara Amarok and Edna Baker have breached their duties of loyalties to SNC and seeks injunctive relief that proxy votes cast for Marie Tozier and Barb Amarok are to be not included in the voting tally.
Sitnasuak, through its lawyer Howard Trickey with the firm Holland & Knight LLP in Anchorage, has put in a motion for expedited consideration of the preliminary injunction that sought to remove the directors from their seats and to have proxy votes already cast for Tozier and Amarok tossed out.
The case is assigned to Superior Court Judge Erin B. Marston, but on Sept. 11, Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth issued an order that denied SNC’s motion for expedited consideration. Additionally, in a handwritten addendum at the bottom of the order, Aarseth wrote, “The factual disputes make it unlikely that the plaintiff can meet its burden on the probable-success-on-the-merits standard without a lengthy evidentiary hearing. Hardship can be avoided by rescheduling the election until after the preliminary injunction motion is decided.”
Sitnasuak issued a press release stating “The Alaska Superior Court has recommended rescheduling the 2017 Sitnasuak Native Corporation annual election, and the Sitnasuak Board of Directors has complied.”
It said the new meeting date will be announced as soon as possible.
“In the meantime, valid proxies cast still count, subject to any court rulings, and will be maintained by the election judge,” the statement reads.
The peremptory challenge posed by plaintiffs was withdrawn, meaning that a new judge won’t be assigned to the case.