Anchorage Police Department Lt. Anthony Henry, a 22-year veteran of the force and head of the department's Special Victim's Unit and Crimes Against Children Unit, has been given a termination notice and is currently on paid leave from the department, according to his attorney.
Ray Brown, Henry's lawyer, confirmed that last week a memo went out to all APD employees instructing them that Henry "is denied permission to access properties occupied or managed by the Anchorage Police Department."
Brown said he believes the city is retaliating against Henry because his client initiated several personnel actions about possible discrimination within the department. Brown said he could not discuss the nature of the personnel actions or alleged discriminatory practices his client brought forth, because they were ongoing matters and were the subject of a confidentiality agreement.
Brown said Henry would fight the termination, which would take effect April 9.
In an emailed response to questions from Alaska Dispatch News, Brown wrote, "Given the [Municipality of Anchorage] and the department's conduct, it appears that the alleged basis for his removal is entirely pretextual and in retaliation for Lt. Henry's complaints against historical conduct by the department and Municipality."
APD has refused to discuss details of Henry's suspension, citing personnel protections.
"The Anchorage Police Department and the Municipality of Anchorage is not at liberty to disclose ongoing personnel matters," APD spokesperson Jennifer Castro wrote in an email to Alaska Dispatch News last week.
No criminal charges have been brought against Henry.
Brown said APD? had targeted Henry with an internal investigation, conducted by an out-of-state investigator.
"I will say that looking at his history with the department as depicted in his bio, one certainly should question why an officer of this distinction was being removed," Brown wrote.
During his time at APD, Henry has served as a patrol supervisor, SWAT team leader, and commander of the canine, special assignments, bomb squad, vice, and homicide units.
Brown said Henry will fight his dismissal from the police force and is deciding whether he will ask for a pre-termination hearing, or for post-termination arbitration.
"Lt. Henry is very disappointed and obviously distraught by the actions of the department and MOA but remains confident that when given the opportunity to defend himself he will be exonerated," Brown wrote.
Alaska Dispatch Publishing