UPDATED: Below is 2009 email correspondence between then Rep. Nancy Dahlstrom and the wife of retired Lt. Col. Kenneth Blaylock, regarding allegations made by Blaylock of corruption and abuse in the National Guard. Blaylock, the husband, is a 30-year National Guard veteran before he retired in 2012, has recently come forward to multiple media outlets about the Guard scandal, saying that he’s been trying for years to get people’s attention. His wife, whose name is redacted, is also a retired National Guard member.
The allegations that she sent to Dahlstrom involved then Brigadier General Thomas Katkus, and Colonels Catherine Jorgenson and Timothy DeHass. Katkus, promoted to adjutant general in 2009 shortly after Blaylock’s correspondence, was recently fired by Gov. Sean Parnell, followed by Jorgenson. Questions have arisen about DeHass.
After Dahlstrom left the Legislature, she served for a little more than a year as a special assistant for Gov. Sean Parnell for veterans affairs beginning in February 2012. During that year, she received numerous complaints about the National Guard, but handed them all off to either Mike Nizich, and in one case the FBI, she said.
Dahlstrom was recently interviewed by the Alaska Dispatch about the actions she took while working for Parnell. However, the story didn’t mention that she herself had received at least one complaint about the National Guard while she was in the Legislature, a complaint that at the time in 2009 she called “baseless” and “reckless.”
Blaylcock says that Katkus is being investigated, and says that questions should be asked related to National Guard finances. The National Guard Bureau Office of Complex Investigations, an investigation called on by Parnell, uncovered numerous instances of fraud and abuse in the National Guard.
Dahlstrom asked the Inspector General of Alaska’s Army National Guard about Blaylock’s complaints, and was assured that there was nothing to them.
In the 2009 email response, she admonishes Blaylock, and calls her allegations “mean spirited, unsubstantiated and malicious.” She said that she’s been watching the National Guard closely for seven years, and has never seen it function better. She wrote that Katkus has provided “outstanding leadership” and that his record is “impeccable.” Further, she wrote that she personally knows Jorgenson and DeHass, and that mentioning the two further erodes Blaylock’s credibility because “they carry an outstanding reputation and are well respected.”
“No one deserves such public defamation, especially our senior leadership,” Dahlstrom wrote to Blaylock.
Her reaction to Blaylock’s allegations are emblematic of how confusing the situation was. “Had I known then what I know now, I would have handled it much differently,” Dahlstrom said. “We all would have.”
Here’s Blaylock’s email:
Here’s Dahlstrom’s response:
UPDATE AND CORRECTION: This story has been updated to include the email that Dahlstrom was responding to. The original story also said that Dahlstrom’s email was sent to Lt. Col. Kenneth Blaylock. It was in fact sent to his wife, who is also retired Coast Guard. However, she is not a colonel as Dahlstrom’s salutation indicates. (Hence the confusion.)