Representative Masek misses day in court

Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- State Rep. Bev Masek, whose absences during the legislative session and from the campaign trail raised questions, has missed a court hearing in her divorce case.

Masek, R-Willow, was ordered by Superior Court Judge Mark Rindner to attend the hearing in Anchorage in person or by phone.

Rindner issued the order after Masek failed to appear for a similar hearing in June. He said he was puzzled by her absence.

''I'm just perplexed by her not appearing at this hearing since she was the one who filed for this divorce,'' he said.

Attorney Ken Goldman, who is representing Masek's husband, Jan, also could shed little light on her absence. He told Rindner at the hearing that Jan Masek had not been able to reach his wife and that she had only sporadically talked to their teenage son.

Rindner said Masek was notified by letter that she was supposed to appear for the hearing. He said he could consider sanctions against her but did not detail what those might be. The judge scheduled another hearing in October.

Masek is running for re-election in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough but has been noticeably absent from the campaign trail despite facing three opponents. She has not raised any money this year, according to her campaign finance reports, and has not made any public appearances this summer in Mat-Su, according to her challengers.

She also has had one of the worst attendance records of any legislator in the past two years, according to an Associated Press analysis.

This past legislative session, she missed the most House floor sessions of any state representative except for Rep. Scott Ogan, R-Palmer, who missed several weeks after suffering a nearly fatal heart attack.

In a brief phone interview at the beginning of the month, Masek said she was battling an illness but would not elaborate, saying it had gotten better.

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