Alaska Legislature

State dismisses Alaska lawmaker’s open-container citation after trooper’s arrest

JUNEAU — The state of Alaska has dismissed an open-container citation against state Sen. Josh Revak, R-Anchorage, after the citing trooper was arrested and accused of sexually abusing children.

Revak was cited in August for driving with an open can of beer in his car. Revak does not drink alcohol, and a fellow state senator who was riding in his car, Democrat Scott Kawasaki of Fairbanks, said the can of beer actually belonged to him.

The trooper pulled Revak’s car over for driving 66 mph in a 55 mph zone near Sterling. He was not cited for speeding and said he thought the speed limit was 65 in the area.

Driving with an open alcoholic beverage container in the vehicle is considered an infraction less than a misdemeanor. Earlier this month, officials said they were reviewing each of the arrested trooper’s cases on an individual basis.

Revak had said he would challenge the citation and had been scheduled to appear in Kenai District Court this week.

“I kind of hoped that I’d be able to have the conversation in court. But at any rate, I don’t know why they dismissed it,” he said Monday.

According to online court records, the $220 ticket was dismissed Thursday “by prosecution or prosecution’s representative.”

“The trooper that issued the citation and had the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop will be unable to attend the scheduled hearing,” said Austin McDaniel, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, which oversees the troopers.

When a trooper leaves the department for any reason, serious cases may be reassigned to a different officer. That doesn’t happen with traffic citations. There, the trooper is the sole witness and must be present for the case to go forward. Another trooper cannot stand in.

“While the circumstances surrounding this citation dismissal are not standard, it is standard practice for the Troopers to request the dismissal of a citation when the trooper with the reasonable suspicion for the stop cannot attend the hearing and rescheduling is impossible,” McDaniel said.

Revak said he intends to donate the money that would have gone to paying for the citation.

“I intend to take to take the money and donate it to a nonprofit organization that has to do with (alcohol) rehabilitation,” he said, adding that he is still considering which group.

Through a spokesman for the Alaska Senate Democrats, Kawasaki said he will match that donation.

James Brooks

James Brooks was a Juneau-based reporter for the ADN from 2018 to May 2022.