Fairbanks police Chief Aragon resigns
Last updated at 4:01 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31
Fairbanks police Chief Randall Aragon has resigned, according to a release from Mayor Jim Matherly’s office. The investigation into “conflict of interest violations” is ongoing, the release said.
Deputy Chief Brad Johnson will continue as acting chief.
In one of his first official acts as the new mayor of Fairbanks, Mayor Jim Matherly placed Police Chief Randall Aragon back on paid administrative leave, effective immediately.
The Fairbanks Police Department issued a statement Tuesday announcing the move. Aragon was originally placed on administrative leave in September while the city investigated claims of conflict of interest. A local business owner accused Aragon of trying to promote his private business while acting as the chief of police.
Following the shooting of FPD Sgt. Allen Brandt in mid-October, then-Mayor John Eberhart reinstated Aragon. Eberhart said the department was facing a “very difficult time” while dealing with the aftermath of the shooting and the Alaska Federation of Natives convention, which took place just a few days later.
Eberhart said having Aragon back at work would not conflict with the city’s investigation. He said the on-site portion of that investigation was complete.
On Tuesday, however, Matherly said, “We are reinstating the suspension pending the receipt of the completed investigation.”
“Chief Aragon will remain on administrative leave until a final report has been received and a determination has been made by the Mayor and the City Council as to the outcome of the investigation,” a statement from police said.
Matherly won out against Eberhart in the recent Fairbanks election. The city council certified the results at its Monday night meeting, during which Matherly was formally sworn in as mayor.
Deputy Police Chief Brad Johnson will be Acting Chief in the interim.