Jerzy Shedlock

Former assistant attorney general Erin Pohland was convicted and sentenced this week in Anchorage on a misdemeanor official misconduct charge, related to an effort by the state's largest union to organize University of Alaska employees. Trial evidence showed that in 2010, Pohland was a state attorney responsible for advising the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. In April of that year, the Labor Department became concerned about an interaction between the Alaska Labor Relations Agency, a state agency, and the Alaska State Employees Association, a union. Pohland was asked to provide legal advice to the state agency about the union filing documents believed to have been forged, according to District Attorney Clint Campion. Pohland advised the Labor Relations Agency but...Jerzy Shedlock
Alaska State Troopers announced Wednesday that they will maintain their presence in the Southcentral ski town of Girdwood despite previous warnings of closing its post there starting next year. The troopers have extended their stay by at least six months, until June 30, 2016, troopers’ information officer Beth Ipsen wrote in a release. They previously cited budget cuts across state departments as the reason for pulling out. Troopers’ Director Col. James Cockrell said ongoing discussions with multiple stakeholders resulted in the decision to delay the closure of the post. It will allow everyone more time to decide the best option, he said. “One sergeant and four troopers will continue to operate out of the Girdwood post located near the junction of Alyeska and Seward highways,” Ipsen said...Jerzy Shedlock
Federal prosecutors have charged a Wrangell father and son who run a family-owned Gulf of Alaska fishing business with fishing thousands of pounds of halibut from one area but reporting their catches came from another. Charles Petticrew Sr. has been charged with a single count of conspiracy for falsifying individual fishing quota (IFQ) records for more than three years, according to federal charges filed Tuesday in Juneau. Petticrew and his family worked together “to submit false locations for the statistical areas where halibut were caught on federal IFQ forms, Alaska Department of Fish and Game Longline Fishery Logbook entries and halibut tickets,” the charges say. The logbook and tickets were submitted to Fish and Game, prosecutors said. In all, Petticrew and his son allegedly faked...Jerzy Shedlock
Fairbanks police say they’ve identified the second of two suspects who opened fire on a home in a targeted attack as James Arthur Allen, whom officers have not yet apprehended. Allen, 18, was indicted Friday by a grand jury on first- and second-degree weapons misconduct charges and two counts of assault, according to a Fairbanks Police Department release. “A no bail arrest warrant has been issued for Allen, who is considered armed and dangerous,” police said Tuesday. Anyone with information about Allen’s whereabouts or additional details about the shooting is asked to call Detective Peyton Merideth at 907-450-6553. Police were called shortly before 7 p.m. Oct. 6 to Droz Drive, off the Steese Highway south of the Johansen Expressway. Witnesses told arriving officers they had seen a black...Jerzy Shedlock
A Michigan man was sentenced Monday in federal court in Anchorage to 13 years in prison for crimes including stealing money from Alaskans and others through fake charitable organizations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Retta-Rae Randall said Alan Michael Bartlett, 46, targeted “soft people,” vulnerable individuals who were willing to hand over money for what they believed was a good cause. Prosecutors say Bartlett created two businesses, United States Disabled Veterans and United States Handicapped-Disadvantaged Services. The businesses claimed to sell products for donations, capital that would provide jobs for the handicapped. But there were no jobs, and Bartlett tried to pocket the donations. “Bartlett took advantage of people who wanted to contribute to veteran charities, then stole from...Jerzy Shedlock
A man who has been in and out of prison for most of his adult life received a decadeslong sentence Friday in Anchorage Superior Court for felony charges tied to a violent robbery at a busy downtown mall. Raymond Katchatag, 30, was sentenced to 25 years for assault and robbery. Prosecutors say he grabbed an 11-year-old boy away from his mother, Rhonda Torkelson, inside a mall skybridge and held the boy at knifepoint. The state charged assault for harming the boy and robbery because Katchatag demanded Torkelson's belongings. Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton imposed an additional two years for an unrelated 2007 case. The judge also restricted parole, meaning Katchatag will serve all 27 years. Assistant district attorney Andrew Grannik described Katchatag’s actions as “evil...Jerzy Shedlock
The Alaska Court System and the Kenaitze Indian Tribe, based in Kenai, are partnering to create a new experimental court -- a reaction to calls from Alaska Native tribes for more authority in the state’s criminal justice system. Alaska Supreme Court Justice Dana Fabe said a state judge and a tribal judge will sit side by side and hear cases in the therapeutic substance abuse court on the Kenai Peninsula. The system is set to begin in March 2016, Fabe said. Partnering together should allow the criminal justice system to shift toward community solutions, Fabe said. “This is just the beginning of what we’re capable of,” she said. The two judges who will oversee what is being called a joint jurisdictional project include Kenai Superior Court Judge Anna Moran and Kim Sweet, chief judge for the...Jerzy Shedlock
A man born in Puebla, Mexico, who’d been living in the U.S. using a forged birth certificate, is accused of illegally obtaining nearly two decades' worth of Permanent Fund dividend checks, according to charges filed in Anchorage Superior Court. The state has charged Jose Martignon, 48, with a single count of scheming to defraud, a felony. By prosecutors' count, Martignon collected about $24,000 from the checks. A court summons was filed for Martignon on Oct. 7. Prosecutors say Martignon applied for the PFD from 1988 to 2001 and from 2007 through 2011. On each of his PFD applications, he stated he was a U.S. citizen. However, during an interview with Homeland Security investigators on May 2, 2011, he admitted to having been born in Mexico. The forged birth certificate allegedly said he was...Jerzy Shedlock
The governor’s office confirmed Wednesday that deputy commissioner of the Department of Public Safety Terry Vrabec no longer works for the state. Gov. Bill Walker’s press secretary Katie Marquette declined to offer specifics about Vrabec’s departure, stating it was a personnel matter. The deputy commissioner’s page on the DPS website changed Wednesday evening, listing Vrabec's former position as “vacant.” Valdez Police Department Chief William Comer will replace Vrabec, Marquette said. Vrabec became deputy commissioner in June 2011 under then-Gov. Sean Parnell and had continued to serve under under Gov. Walker. He spent six years as director of the Alaska Police Standards Council, which decides behind closed doors whether certain Alaska law enforcement officers lose their right to wear a...Jerzy Shedlock
A Birchwood Christian School teacher stands accused of abusing a teen student, and Anchorage police are asking for any other potential victims to come forward. Oly Sugay, 34, faces five felony charges of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, according to a criminal complaint filed in Anchorage Superior Court last week. Officer Leah Davies, a member of Anchorage Police Department’s Crimes Against Children Unit , wrote in the complaint that both Sugay and the victim told authorities the alleged abuse took place for more than a month this summer. Sugay told police the “sexual relationship” came to an end before the school year started in August, according to the complaint. Birchwood Christian School did not return several calls seeking comment. Anchorage police said Wednesday that Sugay had...Jerzy Shedlock