Difference between revisions of "Attorney General of Alaska"

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{{Stategov}}{{TOCnestright}}The '''Attorney General''' is the principal executive officer of the department, and is appointed by the [[Alaska Governor|governor of Alaska]]. The [[Attorney General|attorney general]] serves as the legal advisor for the [[governor]] and other state officers, prosecutes all violations of state criminal law, and enforces the consumer protection and unfair trade practices laws. The duties and powers of the attorney general are found in AS 44.23.020.  
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{{Stategov}}{{TOCnestright}}The '''Attorney General''' is the principal executive officer of the Department of Law, and is appointed by the [[Alaska Governor|governor of Alaska]]. He or she "serves as the legal advisor for the [[governor]] and other state officers, prosecutes all violations of state criminal law, and enforces the consumer protection and unfair trade practices laws."<ref>[http://www.law.state.ak.us/department/about.html ''Alaska Department of Law'', "About the Department of Law," accessed June 1, 2011.]</ref>
  
The current Attorney General of Alaska is [[Daniel S. Sullivan]].
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==Current officeholder==
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The current and 22nd attorney general of Alaska is John J. Burns, appointed by Governor Sean Parnell on November 30, 2010.<ref>[http://www.gov.state.ak.us/parnell/press-room/full-press-release.html?pr=5583 ''Office of Governor Sean Parnell'', "John J. Burns Named Attorney General," November 30, 2010.]</ref> Before his appointment, Burns was a partner in the law firm Borgeson & Burns in Fairbanks, AL. As the Alaska attorney general serves at the pleasure of the governor, he is not required to be reappointed.
  
==Ballot Text and Legality==
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==Authority==
Any member of the public may propose an initiative in [[Alaska]].  The specific steps that must be followed are outlined in detail here: [[Alaska Initiative Law]]. Once an initiative has been proposed, the Department of Law receives a copy to review.  
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The attorney general's authority is based in statute, not the state's constitution, which specifies that the attorney general is the "principal executive officer of the Department of Law.<ref>[http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/akstats/Statutes/Title44/Chapter23/Section010.htm ''Alaska Legal Resource Center'', "Alaska Statutes 44.23.010," accessed June 1, 2011.]</ref>
  
There are legal restrictions that deny ballot drives the power to change the constitution or to appropriate funds that the Department of Law will be checking for during its review.  It also checks for the legality of the ballot and when this review is completed the department will submitt its review to the Lieutenant Governor.
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'''Alaska Statutes, Title 44, Chapter 23, Section 10'''
  
'''If the ballot is approved:'''
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{| style="width:60%; background:#F08080; margin-top:.1em; border:.5px solid #cccccc; solid;"
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|color:#000"|
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|-
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| <i>The principal executive officer of the Department of Law is the attorney general.</i>
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|-
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|}
  
The Attorney General also writes an explanatory statement for all ballot measures that is published in the Voter Information Pamphlet. The statement is required to be an impartial explanation of the purpose of the ballot measures.  
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==Qualifications==
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Like all principal executive officers in the Alaska government, the attorney general must "furnish corporate surety bonds in the instance and amount required by law," the cost of which is paid by the state. Otherwise, there are no special qualifications for the office of attorney general.<ref>[http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/akstats/Statutes/Title39/Chapter05/Section050.htm ''Alaska Legal Resource Center'', "Alaska Statutes 39.05.050," accessed June 1, 2011.]</ref>
  
==Campaign finance==
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==Appointment==
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The attorney general, like all Alaska executive department heads, is appointed by the governor and subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the legislature.<ref>[http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/akstats/Statutes/Title39/Chapter05/Section020.htm ''Alaska Legal Resource Center'', "Alaska Statutes 39.05.020," accessed June 1, 2011.]</ref>
  
: ''Main article: [[Campaign finance requirements for Alaska ballot measures]]''
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===Term limits===
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There are no term limits for the office of attorney general, who serves at the pleasure of the governor.
  
The Alaska Attorney General is responsible for all campaign finance discipline if the matter falls outside of the jurisdiction of the Alaska Public Offices Commission or involves a constitutional challenge to Alaska law<ref>[http://doa.alaska.gov/apoc/pdf/2009_15_13.pdf ''Alaska Public Offices Commission'' "Alaska Campaign Finance Law"](Referenced Statute 15.13.380(f))</ref>.  The first step in filing a complaint is to file with the [[Alaska Public Offices Commission]].  A person has up to 5 years to file a compliant after the date of the alleged offense<ref>[http://doa.alaska.gov/apoc/pdf/2009_15_13.pdf ''Alaska Public Offices Commission'' "Alaska Campaign Finance Law"](Referenced Statute 15.13.380(b))</ref>.  The Alaska POC has up to 90 days to take action on any complaint unless the person responds to the complaint wants expidted action<ref>[http://doa.alaska.gov/apoc/pdf/2009_15_13.pdf ''Alaska Public Offices Commission'' "Alaska Campaign Finance Law"](Referenced Statute 15.13.380(h))</ref>  <ref>[http://doa.alaska.gov/apoc/pdf/2009_15_13.pdf ''Alaska Public Offices Commission'' "Alaska Campaign Finance Law"](Referenced Statute 15.13.380(b))</ref>.
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==Vacancies==
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Alaska law does not prescribe any particular procedure for dealing with vacancies. It is the governor's responsibility to appoint a new attorney general, subject to approval from the legislature.
  
All civil law violations are prosecuted by the Alaska POC<ref>[http://doa.alaska.gov/apoc/pdf/2009_15_13.pdf ''Alaska Public Offices Commission'' "Alaska Campaign Finance Law"](Referenced Statute 15.13.380(e))</ref>.
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==Duties==
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The attorney general oversees the Alaska Department of Law, prosecutes violations of state criminal law, issues legal advice to state officers and agencies and enforces other Alaska statutes. The office's duties are outlined in Alaska statute. They include:<ref>[http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/akstats/Statutes/Title44/Chapter23/Section020.htm ''Alaska Legal Resource Center'', "Alaska Statutes Title 44, Chapter 23, Section 20," accessed June 1, 2011.]</ref>
  
==OCS Litigation==
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*Defending the constitution of Alaska and of the United States.
 
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*Taking action to ensure collection of revenue
On September 9, 2010, Attorney General Dan Sullivan filed suit in U.S District Court on behalf of the State of Alaska to protest a U.S Department of the Interior moratorium on OCS drilling and exploration Sullivan claimed was "illegal, arbitrary and capricious."<ref>[http://alaska.watchdog.org/2010/09/09/state-brings-ocs-drill-moratorium-to-court/ ''Alaska Watchdog'' "State brings OCS drill moratorium to court"</ref>
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*"[Representing] the state in all civil actions in which it is a party"
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*"[Prosecuting] all cases involving violation of state law"
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*Issuing advisory legal opinion to state officials or legislators
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*"[Drafting] legal instruments for the state"
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*Reporting to the legislature regarding the work of his office and necessary changes to existing law
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*Publishing a pamphlet on landlord and tenant rights.
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*Participating in the Regulatory Commission of Alaska as needed
  
 
==Contact information==
 
==Contact information==

Revision as of 16:02, 1 June 2011

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The Attorney General is the principal executive officer of the Department of Law, and is appointed by the governor of Alaska. He or she "serves as the legal advisor for the governor and other state officers, prosecutes all violations of state criminal law, and enforces the consumer protection and unfair trade practices laws."[1]

Current officeholder

The current and 22nd attorney general of Alaska is John J. Burns, appointed by Governor Sean Parnell on November 30, 2010.[2] Before his appointment, Burns was a partner in the law firm Borgeson & Burns in Fairbanks, AL. As the Alaska attorney general serves at the pleasure of the governor, he is not required to be reappointed.

Authority

The attorney general's authority is based in statute, not the state's constitution, which specifies that the attorney general is the "principal executive officer of the Department of Law.[3]

Alaska Statutes, Title 44, Chapter 23, Section 10

The principal executive officer of the Department of Law is the attorney general.

Qualifications

Like all principal executive officers in the Alaska government, the attorney general must "furnish corporate surety bonds in the instance and amount required by law," the cost of which is paid by the state. Otherwise, there are no special qualifications for the office of attorney general.[4]

Appointment

The attorney general, like all Alaska executive department heads, is appointed by the governor and subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the legislature.[5]

Term limits

There are no term limits for the office of attorney general, who serves at the pleasure of the governor.

Vacancies

Alaska law does not prescribe any particular procedure for dealing with vacancies. It is the governor's responsibility to appoint a new attorney general, subject to approval from the legislature.

Duties

The attorney general oversees the Alaska Department of Law, prosecutes violations of state criminal law, issues legal advice to state officers and agencies and enforces other Alaska statutes. The office's duties are outlined in Alaska statute. They include:[6]

  • Defending the constitution of Alaska and of the United States.
  • Taking action to ensure collection of revenue
  • "[Representing] the state in all civil actions in which it is a party"
  • "[Prosecuting] all cases involving violation of state law"
  • Issuing advisory legal opinion to state officials or legislators
  • "[Drafting] legal instruments for the state"
  • Reporting to the legislature regarding the work of his office and necessary changes to existing law
  • Publishing a pamphlet on landlord and tenant rights.
  • Participating in the Regulatory Commission of Alaska as needed

Contact information

Alaska Department of Law
Post Office Box 110300
Juneau, AK 99811-0300

Phone: 907-465-2133
Fax: 907-465-2075
E-mail: attorney.general@alaska.gov

See also

External links

Alaska Attorney General website

References