Attorney General of Alaska

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 13:46, 29 January 2014 by Maresa Strano (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Alaska Attorney General
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2014 FY Budget:  $94,723,600
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   Serves at pleasure of governor
Authority:  Alaska Statutes, Title 44, Chapter 23, Section 10
Selection Method:  Appointed by Governor
Current Officeholder

Michael Geraghty.jpg
Name:  Michael Geraghty
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 12, 2012
Compensation:  $135,000
Other Alaska Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorAttorney GeneralComptrollerEducation CommissionerRevenue CommissionerAgriculture DirectorInsurance DirectorNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerRegulatory 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 adviser 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.


Alaska state government organizational chart

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

State budget

The budget for the Alaska Department of Law in Fiscal Year 2014 is $94,723,600.[8]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

In 2013, the Alaska Attorney General was paid an estimated $135,000. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.

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]

Historical officeholders

There have been 30 Attorney Generals of Alaska since 1916.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term Alaska + Attorney + General

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Attorney General of Alaska News Feed

  • Loading...

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


  1. 1.0 1.1 Alaska Department of Law, "About the Department of Law," accessed June 1, 2011.
  2. Office of Governor Sean Parnell, "John J. Burns Named Attorney General," November 30, 2010
  3. News Miner, "Alaska legislators say they understand Attorney General John Burns' resignation," November 30, 2011
  4. Alaska Legal Resource Center, "Alaska Statutes 44.23.010," accessed June 1, 2011.
  5. Alaska Legal Resource Center, "Alaska Statutes 39.05.050," accessed June 1, 2011.
  6. Alaska Legal Resource Center, "Alaska Statutes 39.05.020," accessed June 1, 2011.
  7. Alaska Legal Resource Center, "Alaska Statutes 44.23.010," accessed June 1, 2011.
  8. Alaska Office of Management and Budget, "FY 2014 Operating Budget," May 21, 2013
  9. Alaska Legal Resource Center, "Alaska Statutes 39.20.080," accessed June 1, 2011.
  10. State of Alaska Department of Law, "Attorneys General of Alaska," accessed July 25, 2013
  11. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Grigsby, George Barnes, (1874-1962)," accessed July 25, 2013
  12. [ 1928-1930.pdf Alaska State Library Historical Collections, "MS 107 Box 6 Diary 39--Diary of James Wickersham, October 1, 1928 through May 15, 1930," accessed July 25, 2013]
  13. Find A Grave, "Ralph Julian Rivers," accessed July 25, 2013
  14. Alaska Bar Association, "In Memoriam 2006," accessed July 25, 2013
  15. Our Campaigns, "Renkes, Gregg D.," accessed July 25, 2013
  16. Political Graveyard, "Index to Politicians: Hathcock to Havenor," accessed July 25, 2013
  17. Our Campaigns, "AK Territorial Senate 3," accessed July 18, 2013
  18. Our Campaigns, "AK Territorial Senate 1," accessed July 25, 2013