Mel Green at Bent Alaska has an interesting piece up today about the divorce trial of the son of Anchorage Baptist Temple's Jerry Prevo. Allen Prevo, the son, and his former wife, Holly, have been fighting over custody of their children and the couple's property.
The property in question is Allen's house, which the church owns and is therefore exempt from paying city taxes. Glenn Clary, a pastor at Anchorage Baptist Temple, lobbied the Alaska Legislature in support of a bill that would allow such exemptions. Jerry Prevo is perhaps the most politically powerful man-of-the-cloth in Alaska.
Allen is an ordained minister who works for the church as a "lighting director and TV consultant, and currently is ABT's audiovisual and computer technician in charge of virtually everything having to do with ABT's television ministry — Sunday broadcasts, commercials, advertising, and lighting for plays," Green writes. On the ABT website, Allen Prevo is described as a "TV ministry pastor." Municipal code dictates that anyone residing in such a tax exempt house be employed by the religious organization as a minister.
Green was able to get a copy of the court filings before the judge sealed the case Monday morning.
The whole piece is worth a read, but perhaps the most interesting part of the story deals with equity that the son has in the property that is supposedly owned by the Anchorage Baptist Temple. The judge found the arrangement strange. "I'm willing to have you explain a lot more but if there was a tax appraiser or a reporter from the Anchorage Daily News, things would not look good," he said during a hearing.
Alaska Dispatch has a call into the mayor's office about this. Kelly Taylor, the city's tax assessor who would answer such questions, said that she was not allowed to talk to the media.
Contact Amanda Coyne at amanda(at)alaskadispatch.com