A routine court records check has found that a candidate for Haines Borough Assembly has a record of domestic violence charges.
Ryan Cook is currently the subject of a long-term domestic violence protective order that was issued in November of 2015.
According to court documents, the woman who requested the order said she feared for her safety. She said Cook made unwanted visits to her home and work. KHNS does not publish names of domestic violence victims.
The Haines magistrate issued a short-term and then long-term protective order. The magistrate found probable cause that Cook committed or attempted to commit coercion and harassment against the victim.
Cook was ordered to stay away from the woman’s house and workplace and have limited contact with her. Most of the conditions of the long-term protective order are in effect until November of this year.
It wasn’t the first time Cook went to court for alleged domestic violence. In 2012, Cook was charged with assault, property damage, and trespassing – three class A misdemeanors.
The charges stemmed from a February 2012 domestic altercation. Eventually, the assault and trespassing charges were dropped after Cook pled guilty to the charge of property damage. He was sentenced to 180 days in prison, with 175 suspended. He was also ordered to take anger management and alcohol counseling courses.
The property damage conviction came with a no-contact order. The order was later relaxed.
Cook is one of six candidates running for two assembly seats. An Alaska court records review found that while other candidates have minor traffic infringements, Cook is the only candidate with more serious charges in his recent past.
Cook told KHNS this week that he has undergone counseling and feels he has changed since the 2012 and 2015 incidents.
“I’ve changed, I really have,” Cook said.