Comments sought on judge candidates

Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2003

The Alaska Judicial Council is soliciting comments from the public on Kenai Superior Court candidates seeking to fill the position vacant since the death of Judge Jonathan Link on March 25.

A public hearing has been scheduled for Monday at noon in the Kenai Courthouse.

The public hearing is expected to last 45 minutes to one hour, according to judicial council executive director Larry Cohn.

"We usually limit people's comments to five minutes," he said.

"In Anchorage, there generally isn't much interest in these public hearings, but there is in the smaller communities."

The council recently released survey scores from members of the Alaska Bar Association evaluating five candidates for the position: Valdez District Court Judge Joel H. Bolger, assistant attorney general Charles T. Huguelet, Kenai District Attorney Dwayne W. McConnell, Anchorage District Court Judge Sigurd E. Murphy and Paul E. Olson, state regulatory commission hearing examiner.

Bolger and Olson scored the highest in all six categories in which the candidates were evaluated, including professional competence, integrity, fairness, judicial temperament, suitability of experience and overall professional performance.

Three other applicants for the position, including two Kenai attorneys, have withdrawn their applications, according to Cohn.

The council also will interview the five remaining candidates Monday and following the interviews, the council will nominate two or more persons to the governor, who will then have 45 days to make the appointment.

Public comment on the qualifications of the candidates also may be submitted in writing to the council at 1029 West Third Ave., Suite 201, Anchorage, AK 99501-1969 or on its Web site at www.ajc.

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