Attorney General of Alaska

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 13:06, 15 December 2012 by Gtjanetka (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

Alaska State Executives
GovernorLieutenant Governor
Attorney GeneralComptroller
Education Commissioner

Revenue Commissioner
Agriculture Director
Insurance Director
Natural Resources Commissioner
Labor Commissioner
Regulatory Commission
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 attorney general of Alaska is Michael Geraghty, who was appointed on January 12, 2012 by Gov. Sean Parnell to replace John J. Burns. Burns, a Republican, was appointed by Parnell on November 30, 2010.[2]. He announced his resignation in November 2011, effective January 2, citing the need for more time with his family.[3]

Geraghty was unanimously confirmed by the Alaska Legislature on April 10, 2012.


The attorney general's authority is based in statute, not the state's constitution. It establishes the office of attorney general as the "principal executive officer of the Department of Law.[4]

Alaska Statutes, Title 44, Chapter 23, Section 10

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


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.[5]

Alaska Statutes, Title 44, Chapter 23, Section 50

The principal executive officer of each department and subordinate officials shall furnish corporate surety bonds in the instance and amount required by law or determined by the governor upon recommendation of the commissioner of administration. The state shall pay the cost of the bond. The attorney general shall approve the form of the bond.


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.[6]

Alaska Statutes, Title 39, Chapter 5, Section 20

The governor shall appoint the head of each principal executive department in the state government. Each appointment is subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the legislature in joint session.

Term limits

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


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.


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:[7]

  • 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


The Department of Law is composed of several divisions and sections:[1]

Civil Division

  • Child Protection
  • Collections & Support
  • Commercial & Fair Business
  • Environmental Law
  • Human Services
  • Information & Project Support
  • Labor & State Affairs
  • Legal Support Services
  • Legislation & Regulations
  • Natural Resources
  • Oil, Gas & Mining
  • Opinions, Appeals & Ethics
  • Regulatory Affairs & Public Advocacy
  • Torts & Workers' Compensation
  • Transportation

Criminal Division

  • Prosecution
  • Special Prosecutions & Appeals
  • Victim & Witness Assistance
  • Advice to Public Safety Agencies

Regional District Attorney's Offices

  • Anchorage - 3rd Judicial District
  • Barrow - 2nd Judicial District
  • Bethel - 4th Judicial District
  • Dillingham - 3rd Judicial District
  • Fairbanks - 4th Judicial District
  • Juneau - 1st Judicial District
  • Kenai - 3rd Judicial District
  • Ketchikan - 1st Judicial District
  • Kodiak - 3rd Judicial District
  • Kotzebue - 2nd Judicial District
  • Nome - 2nd Judicial District
  • Palmer - 3rd Judicial District
  • Sitka - 1st Judicial District


In 2010, the attorney general received compensation in the amount of $135,000.[8] The attorney general's salary is bound to a range determined by statute; it must be no less than Range 28 of the Alaska executive branch employee salary schedule nor more than Range 30.[9]

Contact information


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

Phone: 907-465-2133
Fax: 907-465-2075

See also

External links