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Mayor of Juneau, Alaska, Found Dead Weeks After Taking Office, Prompting Investigation

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Just weeks after he took office, the mayor of Alaska’s capital was found dead, prompting a flurry of rumors that he was assaulted.

Mayor Stephen "Greg" Fisk is seen in a photo on Juneau, Alaska's government website.

Mayor Stephen “Greg” Fisk is seen in a photo on Juneau, Alaska’s government website.

But police were quick to downplay such hearsay.

“Those rumors are speculation,” the Juneau Police Department said. “Detectives are actively investigating facts of the incident, and all evidence is being preserved and documented.”

This much police will say: Juneau Mayor Stephen “Greg” Fisk, 70, didn’t commit suicide, Chief Bryce Johnson told the Juneau Empire. And there were no signs of forced entry into his house.

Any other answers will have to come from investigators and the autopsy report, which is expected within several days.

Police said Fisk was found by his adult son, who called 911.

When the son opened the door of his father’s house, he started shouting, neighbors Don and Janet Kussart told the Juneau Empire.

The Kussarts said they live so close to Fisk’s house, they can hear his doors slam. The couple said they didn’t hear anything that sounded like an assault.

Newly elected

Juneau, population 32,000, is on Alaska’s southeastern panhandle near Canada.

Fisk’s first term as Juneau’s mayor started in October and was scheduled to end in October 2018.

He was lauded for his positive campaign against incumbent Merrill Sanford, the Alaska Dispatch News reported. Even the opponent praised him so much that a local radio reporter had to ask him who he intended to vote for.

Fisk had a steep background in the fishing industry and was also working as a fisheries consultant, the Dispatch News said.

He said his top priority as mayor would be to diversify the economy, the Juneau Empire reported.

Deputy Mayor Mary Becker will take over Fisk’s duties for now, Juneau assembly member Maria Gladziszewski told the Dispatch News.

“He had great ideas about moving Juneau forward,” Gladziszewski said. “It’s just shocking and a tragedy that he won’t be able to do that.”