June Stein has been named as the new Kenai District Attorney, replacing Dwayne McConnell, who is retiring Wednesday.
Stein, who has been an assistant district attorney in the Kenai office since December 2002, moves into her new position Thursday, according to Deputy Attorney General Susan Parkes, who oversees the criminal division.
Stein came to Alaska from New Mexico, where she served in the offices of the district attorneys in Albuquerque, the 11th Judicial District in the Four Corners area and the 7th Judicial District in Socorro-Truth or Consequences, N.M.
A native New Yorker, Stein moved to New Mexico after completing her juris doctor degree at California Western School of Law in San Diego in 1989.
Before beginning her law career, Stein worked in book publishing for the Harcourt Brace Company. She specialized in technical books, popular books and trade books before becoming involved in writing math textbooks.
She said she plans to pick up where McConnell is leaving off, working on increasing the staffing level in the Kenai office.
"I have a commitment from the department (of law) that we will be getting additional help," Stein said Monday.
The office has received approval to increase the number of attorneys to six from five and to add a law office assistant, who will help the two paralegals currently assigned there.
McConnell, who has been the Kenai District Attorney for seven years, is retiring after working for the state of Alaska for 22 years and plans to relocate to Texas.
He recently married court master Anne Preston, who presides mostly over civil cases in the Kenai District Court and also serves as a magistrate in criminal matters.
Preston will leave her position Oct. 22, according to Superior Court Judge Harold Brown, administrative judge of the Kenai Court.
Brown said Preston's position will be advertised statewide and the hope is that a replacement will be able to move into her position as she departs.
McConnell and Preston have both been offered positions with a private Texas law firm that specializes in civil defense.
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