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Alaska Gov. Bill Walker forced to return $3,500 sealskin vest as part of ethics probe against mayor

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Alaska’s governor and lieutenant governor will return sealskin vests received as gifts, the governor’s office said on Monday, amid an ethics investigation by a municipal government into possible misuse of taxpayer funds by its mayor.

The probe was ordered earlier this month by the North Slope Borough Assembly. The vests were bought for about $3,500 each from a daughter of the mayor of the borough, which occupies the northernmost part of the state.

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Mayor Charlotte Brower’s office paid about $7,000 to one of Brower’s daughters for the vests in February, the Alaska Dispatch News reported.

The newspaper reported that Brower has said her office sanctioned payments to family members under a policy that allowed for purchases of goods or services for less than $10,000 without a bidding process. Brower has since changed the policy.

A spokeswoman for the North Slope Borough did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The investigation is focused on whether taxpayer funds were used to buy the vests, made from the skins of bearded seals, from Brower’s daughter, and whether these and other expenditures totaling tens of thousands of dollars improperly benefited the mayor’s family.

Last week, state media cited documents from a public records request in reporting that the borough paid $8,400 for flights and fees enabling Brower’s five grandchildren to attend a five-day “Michael Jordan Flight School”.

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Residents of the borough’s largest community, Barrow, had also raised concerns about the expenses, according to a memo from a special assembly meeting two weeks ago.

A spokeswoman for Governor Bill Walker said his staff is collecting the vests and would return them. Walker was given one and his second-in-command, Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott, was given the other, Walker’s office said.

“These gifts are being returned to ensure that the public’s trust is being upheld,” Walker spokeswoman Katie Marquette said.

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The North Slope Borough is the state’s largest and is home to several of Alaska’s major oil fields. Though larger than Minnesota, it has only about 9,700 residents.

(Reporting by Steve Quinn in Juneau, Alaska; Editing by Eric M. Johnson, Eric Walsh and Ken Wills)

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Cars set on fire blocks from White House as DC protests turn violent

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The Washington, D.C. protests turned violent as the city approached the 11 p.m. curfew the mayor instituted Sunday afternoon.

The policy of D.C. police is that when they are attacked, they advance forward. So, when fireworks were fired, the line of officers began pushing the protesters back further from the White House. Behind the line of police officers also stand a line of National Guard troops that President Donald Trump has demanded stand watch in the city.

Lights that normally shine on the White House have also been turned off, reporters revealed.

https://twitter.com/markknoller/status/1267291138655956992

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Cincinnati sheriff deputies replace American flag at the Justice Center with ‘thin-blue-line’ flag

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Cincinnati police were filmed replacing the American flag that hangs over the Justice Center in Ohio's third-largest city. They then replaced it with the thin-blue-line flag, that was created to advocate for law-enforcement during Black Lives Matter Protests.

During the Charlottesville, Virginia riots, right-wing and white supremacist activists carried the thin-blue-line flag along with the Confederate flag to speak out against Black Lives Matter.

While the flag may have been created in support of law enforcement, it has been adopted by white supremacists and taken on a darker meaning.

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WATCH: DC protesters turn over ‘agitator’ to police — then the agitators try to start a fight with cops

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Protesters in Washington, D.C. were captured on video handing over an agitator to police, while other agitators in paintball tactical gear appeared to try and start fights with police.

Former FBI assistant director of counterintelligence, Frank Figliuzzi, revealed that his former colleagues and law enforcement he knows recognize that far-right agitators are attempting to start significant conflicts between police and protesters.

"There is a minimal presence of Antifa, but a far more disturbing presence of right-wing race-based hate groups, such as the Boogaloo Boys who think there will be a race-based civil war coming," he said on MSNBC.

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