|Discredited Judge Paul Pozonsky, Parnell BFF|
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.
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?