Burbank City Hall and Mayor Konstantine Anthony were the targets of bomb threats — and Anthony, personal threats — this week from at least one unknown source, who falsely claimed that they had placed explosives at City Hall and his personal residence.
Burbank police officials said they did not believe the claims to be legitimate threats, though police have maintained routine patrols of City Hall and Anthony’s residence, while staffing city buildings with police officials. The city and staff, meanwhile, conducted business as usual.
“[The Burbank Police Department] does not believe the threat was credible. BPD conducted a thorough search of City Hall with the assistance of a Bomb Detection Canine and found no evidence of explosives. Federal authorities are aware of the threat and are assisting with the investigation,” Police spokesman Sgt. Stephen Turner told the Leader.
“Officers will be conducting extra patrol in and around City Hall. Burbank City Council meetings are always staffed by BPD and private security,” Turner said.
A letter was also emailed to the Burbank Leader office on Tuesday, making similar threats against Anthony. The motivation of the suspect is unknown, though the letter called attention to several religious themes.
“Pray to God for he might forgive you, but we won’t. You will meet him soon,” the letter stated.
The employee who opened the email said it triggered a series of virus-tinged pop ups.
The letter comes on the heels of public backlash against Anthony after an incident that occurred at a “Drag Bingo” fundraising event, in which Anthony was unknowingly video recorded being spanked by a drag queen while playing the bingo game. Coverage of that incident can be found on the Burbank Leader website.
Anthony’s colleagues on the City Council said at last week’s meeting that they wanted to differentiate his personal activities from his public role as mayor.
“What the mayor does in his personal life is up to him,” said Councilwoman Tamala Takahashi. The panel condemned the ensuing anti-LGBTQ+ hate speech that followed the posting of the video on social media.
“I am very dismayed by the vitriol and hate speech being sent toward the city recently,” Anthony told the Leader on Sept. 15. “There have been a few deaths threats and at least one bomb threat. Regardless, the city of Burbank stands with our LGBTQ community.
“Either I get murdered for my political beliefs or I don’t,” Anthony told the Leader on Friday. “I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, too. I’m not changing who I am because of it.”
First published in the September 23 print issue of the Burbank Leader.