ACLU calling for investigation into Alaska official over controversial tweets

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alaska is calling for an investigation into an Alaskan official over controversial tweets discovered by The Guardian news outlet.

ACLU spokesperson Megan Edge wants a “transparent and timely” investigation into state Assistant Attorney General Matthias Cicotte, Edge said in a statement to The Hill.

The Guardian reported on Wednesday that Cicotte was going by the name J Reuben Clark on Twitter to post controversial tweets.

Although the tweets have been deleted, The Guardian reported that the tweets included calls for violence against left-wing groups, execution for those who perform gender reassignment surgeries and summary imprisonment for Black Lives Matter protesters.

“All state employees have constitutional rights to free speech and association. It isn’t the government’s job to police speech made in a person’s private life or improperly use it as a justification for firing, retaliating, or taking other action against an employee,” Edge said.

“However, the statements revealed by this report make us question the extent to which these bigoted ideas are reflected in Cicotte’s professional conduct, given his role and involvement in cases where the civil rights of incarcerated people are at issue. The State of Alaska needs to conduct an investigation and audit of Cicotte’s record that will answer this question and take appropriate action,” Edge added.

A person close to the matter told The Guardian that Cicotte had his caseload removed after the tweets were discovered.

“The department of law takes the allegations raised here seriously, and we uphold the dignity and respect of all individuals and ask that all of our employees do the same,”  Alaska’s deputy attorney general, Cori Mills, told The Hill in a statement.

“Having just learned about this late last week, we are gathering information and conducting a review. Since this involves personnel issues, we are very limited in our ability to comment further,” Mills added.

The tweets were “horrific and bigoted” and the investigation should be  “transparent and timely, as we cannot afford a government that operates under a cloak of secrecy,” Edge said.

-Updated 3:30 p.m.

Tags ACLU Alaska

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