Since his security team detained Alaska Dispatch editor Tony Hopfinger on Sunday, Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller has been claiming that the school district required him to provide security personnel at the event.
But according to a spokesman for the Anchorage School District, the requirement is much more lenient than a professional security force like Miller’s made it seem. Heidi Embley of the ASD told TPM today that: “We do not require hired security, but do we require them to outline a plan.”
The school district’s rules explain that “all permitted events must have sufficient ushers, attendants, or security monitors scheduled to work at the ASD Rentals permitted event.”
At least two to three monitors should be assigned to serve as security to observe and keep an eye on crowd (patron) behavior inside the rented space and inside of the school.
DropZone Security, hired by Miller, provided three agents, including the head of the group, William Fulton, and two active-duty soldiers.
Embley also said that Miller’s rental of the school cost $400, and included the stage, parking area, and cafeteria where the event was held. When asked about the hallway where Hopfinger was held, Embley said: “It’s considered a general/common area and is included with the rental. We wouldn’t expect them to climb through windows in order to access the cafeteria area that was rented.”
There is some question over the charge of “trespassing” made against Hopfinger by the security team, since the event took place at a public school, though it was being rented for private purposes.
Joe Miller’s Facebook page list the town hall as a “public event.”
The Miller campaign did not immediately return TPM’s request for comment.
The TPM Poll Average shows Miller with 34.5%, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) with 33.1%, and Scott McAdams (D) with 27.5%.