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Reporter Calls Anchorage Mayor ‘Jewish Living Piece of F—ing S—’ in Threatening Voicemail

The reporter, Maria Athens, left the voicemail on October 9 to Berkowitz, accusing him of being a “pedophile” and gloating that she would win an Emmy after exposing him.
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October 15, 2020
Maria Athens

A reporter for a local FOX/ABC affiliate left a threatening voicemail to Anchorage, Alaska Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, a Democrat, in which she called him a “Jewish living piece of f—ing s—.”

The reporter, Maria Athens, left the voicemail on October 9 to Berkowitz, accusing him of being a “pedophile” and gloating that she would win an Emmy after exposing him.

“I will personally kill you and [Berkowitz’s wife] Mara Kimmel myself you Jewish piece of living f—ing s—,” Athens said in the voicemail. “You have met your match motherf—er…. I can’t believe I am such a good person and thought I loved you.”

She added that she will “pray for your Zionist f—ing a— you piece of s— loser.”

Berkowitz’s office immediately denounced the allegations from Athens as “slanderous,” calling her “hostile and unwell.” The office “spoke with Ms. Athens’ employer, general manager Scott Centers, who emphatically disavowed his employee’s comments.”

The Anchorage mayor subsequently announced his resignation on October 14, a day after admitting that he had in “a consensual, inappropriate messaging relationship with reporter Maria Athens.”

“My resignation results from unacceptable personal conduct that has compromised my ability to perform my duties with the focus and trust that is required,” Berkowitz told the Anchorage Assembly. “I know my conduct has done great injury to my family, my staff, to Municipal employees, and to the people of our community, and for that, I am deeply sorry. To make this transition as smooth as possible, my resignation will be effective Friday, October 23 at 6 p.m.”

Athens told the Alaska Daily News that their messaging relationship began in 2016, saying Berkowitz “gave me attention when I was lonely.” She refused to say if the relationship went beyond the messages. Athens was arrested on October 9, when she attempted to enter the studio for KTBY and KYUR, where she allegedly got into a physical altercation with Scott Centers after being told she was not allowed to enter. She had also reportedly been dating Centers. Athens faces charges of misdemeanor assault, disorderly conduct, and criminal mischief.

The FBI Anchorage Field Office told the Daily News that based on its initial investigating with the Anchorage Police Department, they couldn’t find any evidence substantiating Athens’ claim that Berkowitz is a pedophile but “the FBI Anchorage Field Office continues to monitor the situation.”

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