Alaska City Official Won’t Resign After Trashing Hotel

August 26, 2011

A Wasilla city councilman is not resigning after a hotel room he stayed in while on government business was found trashed, but he has apologized for his behavior, saying he’s been sober for more than a week.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Wednesday that Steve Menard gave a brief statement to the Wasilla City Council expressing his regret, according to an audio recording provided by the city.

“I would like to start off by …” he began, followed by a long pause. When he resumed his voice was breaking slightly. “… apologizing publicly for my actions in Sitka. The City of Wasilla, my friends and family, I’m truly embarrassed and sorry, truly sorry.

“I sit here before you a humbled man 11 days sober and working a program. And only through the grace of God I will redeem myself. And I thank you.”

Menard was staying at the Westmark in Sitka earlier this month for a meeting of the Alaska Municipal League. The hotel reported that damage to his room included urine on two mattresses and a chair, vomit on the carpet, ruined bedding and a burned mattress.

The hotel sent the city of Wasilla a $350 bill for repairs to Menard’s room, which was out of service for three days.

The Wasilla City Council is requiring Menard to repay the entire $1,404 cost of his trip to Sitka. The council also won’t allow him any more travel on city business until his term expires in October 2013.

Menard is the son of state Sen. Lisa Menard and the late Curt Menard, a longtime state legislator who died in 2009 of cancer while serving as the Matanuska-Susitna Borough mayor.

Menard’s statement came immediately before a closed session at the end of the council’s regular meeting Monday night.

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