Kenai bench vacancies filling up gradually

Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2007

With the official robing of Superior Court Judge Anna Moran on Monday, the Kenai courthouse came one step closer to filling three bench vacancies.

Last week, former Kenai assistant district attorney Sharon Illsley was appointed to the Kenai District Court judgeship, and the Alaska Judicial Council this week nominated four attorneys — including Kenai’s Peter Mysing — to Gov. Sarah Palin for her appointment to the remaining Superior Court judgeship.

Moran, who had been a magistrate and standing master in the Kenai District Court, was appointed to the newly created Kenai Superior Court judgeship March 5, and was sworn in Monday by Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Dana Fabe.

“It’s a tremendous honor,” said Moran, who has been working in the Alaska court system since 1987.

With the announced deployment of Judge Charles Huguelet to Iraq later this summer, Moran said she becomes the senior judge in Kenai after only three months on the Superior Court bench.

In August, Huguelet is slated to be deployed with the U.S. Air Force to the Multinational Security Transition Command-Iraq. An instructor with the Judge Advocate General’s staff, he expects to be helping Iraqis with the financial end of rebuilding projects.

Kenai Superior Court Judge Harold Brown retired earlier this month.

Moran said, with all the vacancies in Kenai, the court in Anchorage has been good about providing temporary judges to handle the case load in Kenai.

She also said, “Kenai’s a wonderful community. We have a good staff here (in the courthouse) and we have a very good group of attorneys.”

Moran, 54, graduated from Indiana University in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and completed her Doctor of Laws degree in 1978 at Lewis and Clark College’s Northwestern School of Law.

Illsley, 50, has been an Alaska resident for 12 years and has practiced law for 20 years. She graduated from University of Colorado School of Law in 1981.

In addition to Mysing, the three attorneys nominated to replace Brown are Carl Bauman, Robert Owens and Chris Provost.

Bauman, 59, graduated from the University of Oregon in 1973, and has practiced law for 33 1/2 years; Owens, 53, graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1981, and is an assistant municipal attorney in Anchorage; and Provost, 51, graduated from Southwestern University of Law in Los Angeles in 1990, and is currently an assistant public advocate in Anchorage.

Mysing, 55, a private practice attorney in Kenai, has practiced law for 30 years. He graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1976.

The four attorneys’ names were to be sent by express mail to the governor Tuesday. Palin will have 45 days to make an appointment.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at

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