Sunday, December 2, 2012

Why Did "Judge" Paul Pozonsky Slip Through the Alaska Media Radar?

Discredited Judge Paul Pozonsky, Parnell BFF
Last night the Anchorage Daily News became the first Alaska media outlet to cover a story that may end up being the biggest scandal of the Sean Parnell administration.  Which one of their reporters covered it?  

Richard Mauer, their best, and my favorite?  

Lisa Demer, whose local knowledge is hard to beat?  

Sean Cockerham, who covers the Alaska political beat?

Or Julia O'Malley, who has a nose for scandal, and is my wife's favorite ADN writer?

Sadly, none of the above.  This story of either the ineptitude or of Corrupt Bastards-level corruption came out in Shannyn Moore's weekly op-ed: 

[W]hy did Gov. Sean Parnell recently go all the way to Pennsylvania to fill a vacant Hearing Officer position in the labor department (you know, the department that promotes Alaska hire)?
And what Pennsylvanian did we bend over backwards to hire?
The answer to the second question is: an ex-judge named Paul Pozonsky, who is apparently under investigation right now by a Pennsylvania grand jury for destroying evidence in 17 criminal cases, which led to his being stripped of the ability to hear cases, and who was the subject of a year-long "Protection From Abuse" order for domestic violence.
You're probably thinking, there must be a story behind this:
A few months ago, the hearing officer position with the Workers' Compensation Board opened. Applications arrived, the application process closed, resumes were reviewed, candidates were interviewed and a hiring decision appeared imminent. But then something happened. The application process was re-opened, a new application arrived, and a late applicant, Paul Pozonsky, got hired.
Surely there's a good reason why none of the 4,000 Alaskans licensed to practice law in Alaska could fill the job. (I'm told that Mr. Pozonsky filed for a "reciprocal" Alaska license in August but it hasn't been granted yet.)
A little research shows that Mr. Pozonsky was Judge Pozonsky in Washington Co., Penn., for 14 years. He handled 60 to 70 percent of the criminal caseload for the entire county. That is he did until May of this year when the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office began investigating his conduct. He was stripped of his ability to preside over criminal cases. It appears Judge Pozonsky had somewhat bizarrely ordered the destruction of evidence in 17 criminal cases. (It's hard to appeal your case when the evidence disappears.)
Pennsylvania authorities apparently searched Judge Pozonsky's office and removed several boxes. According to press reports, a grand jury investigation of the judge has been ongoing since last fall.
The local paper reported in June that Judge Pozonsky went on vacation to Alaska and resigned when he returned home.
There's more in Moore's article.  You should read it!
Last night, after reading her essay, I thought "surely some Alaska media has already picked up this story?"  I went to bed.  
This morning I googled:
KTUU TV Paul Pozonsky - crickets....
APRN Paul Pozonsky - crickets
Associated Press Paul Pozonsky - a heap of articles about the wake of scandal and notoriety Pozonsky has left behind in Pennsylvania.
The position Parnell's administration broke the rules of hire to get Pozonsky into isn't exactly cabinet-level.  But one might ask why the network of contacts and Juneau-Achorage state government grapevine did not work for any of these outlets?  Of the media cited above, the Associated Press has virtually no excuse, as their own database is full of stuff on this eminently unqualified person.
One should read Moore's op-ed not only for her essay itself, but to read through the growing number of comments (108 at time of publishing this post) by both readers who are doing further research on Pozonsky, and by fools either trying to defend Parnell, or who are attacking the author ad hominem.
This guy seems to be an even worse hire than Palin's choice of Pete Kopp to be Commissioner of Public Safety.  Ironic, or, more to the point - quite troubling - that Pozonsky is married to Kopp's sister.
It turns out Mr. Pozonsky does have Alaska connections. He's married to Sarah Crapuchettes, the sister of Chuck Kopp of Soldotna. You will remember Kopp as Gov. Sarah Palin's replacement for Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan (a change prompted by Monegan's unwillingness to carry out Palin's wish that he fire her trooper ex-brother-in-law). Kopp wasn't vetted by Palin's staff, so when his history of sexual harassment allegations became public, he bowed out of the job (taking $10,000 for two weeks' work with him).

Should we start a betting pool on when or if the Alaska media will cover this scandal?

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Anonymous said...

Seems we have plenty of "Alaskan" criminals, perverts,
and just plain bad guys 'n gals so we wouldn't have to go outside to recruit them. Yakoff Smirnoff could have
based his whole career on Ak - Whatta state!

Anonymous said...

I'll bet a pound of moose burger that AK Dispatch covers something on this first.

Anonymous said...

So what happened to all of the evidence ?

Anonymous said...

Not only did he think he could screw us all her in PA! We are still paying this man's pension. Please get to the root of this. I am tired of the corruption. Where is the honor in "your Honor" anymore?