My Twitter Feed

August 29, 2014

Connecting the Dots from PA to AK

~Paul Pozonsky, right

I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. When someone does something that looks bad, I usually assume incompetence rather than conspiracy. That said, follow along with me and see what you make of this.

The job of Hearing Officer for the state of Alaska is a pretty important job. In other states, hearing officers are called judges and wear black robes. Talis Colberg, a former Alaska attorney general, went on to serve as a Hearing Officer for the Department of Labor after leaving the AG job. Hearing Officers decide the fates of Alaskans every day. Beyond the ability to impart a little justice and improve some lives, the position offers good pay and benefits.

So why 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.

Mr. Pozonsky was controversial even before he was stripped of his duties. In one case, he played a country music song in the courtroom before sentencing a woman to death.

Mr. Pozonsky’s ex-wife was granted a one-year protection order in 1999. (I hope the former judge knows he’s signed on to the “Choose Respect” administration.)

If we’re hiring an out-of-stater for such a job, doesn’t it seem like he should be better qualified than anyone already here? And while you’re thinking about that question, why exactly was the hiring process closed, re-opened and then the job filled with a troubled judge? Was this a case of “not what you know, but who you know?”

Maybe.

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).

Much of what I’ve learned about Mr. Pozonsky comes from a fairly quick Google search (try it, you’ll be stupefied).

Is there more to the story? Maybe the governor will tell us.

But don’t hold your breath waiting for that.

Comments

comments

Comments
7 Responses to “Connecting the Dots from PA to AK”
  1. oscar says:

    palin and family still have alaska under there skirts,not the people but the politicians,ak politicians dont work for alaska,they work for there idols and dreams.lower 48 will never losse there love for palins,because they havent screwed everybody yet

  2. Zyxomma says:

    This is the LAST person who should be hired by your state. Your governors remind me more and more of our NYC mayor — he thinks he was appointed emperor, not elected to SERVE the people of NYC.

  3. Mo says:

    Which mining or oil company has been complaining of adverse worker’s comp cases lately? Who has whined about having to pay a lot of money to someone injured on a work site of theirs?

    Anybody know the relevant Alaska labor department statistics? I.e, which occupational area generates the most amount of claims?

    In which cases has the hearing officer decided for the workman, to the chagrin of which industry lawyer cadre?

    Or maybe it’s just cheap nepotism, rather than the usual cheap Veco-style corruption. Or both! I wonder what the magnificent offer was – as much as $500 and a packet of v-pills, ya think? Some sordid little blackmail about an incident at an event hosted by a party planner?

    • All I Saw says:

      I know who. There has been at least one, very interesting wrongful death case and some work site deaths. It probably means people are getting hurt too.

      Hint: U.S. Department of Labor sued them for screwing a guy out of family time because he was a week on/off sloper.

      Parnell let them pick the AG too. Wish we could elect one ourselves (sigh).

  4. The Lawman says:

    Alaska is notorious for cooking books and destroying evidences…other wise there is no profit…or control…
    Ever notice control freaks cannot control themselves? lol…elder said that years ago…still rings true…
    Go get em Shannon…will tell another blogger of this to get media coverage expanded…
    Sounds to me like Sean is scrambling to cover tracks of all those crimes he and Palin committed…
    Parnell wants that guy from PA to reject “legitimate claims of injury” and that means less monies the State has to give…never mind the worker who is permanently injured from that “dream job” (sarcasm)…
    It won’t work Sean…and somehow you are starting to remind me of RobMoney…listen to idiots around you…
    click your heels three times Sean…back to la la land for you and Palin…after all it’s God’s Will right?

  5. LoveMyDogs says:

    F-B-I = Friends-Brothers-In Laws. It seems to be the first rule of hiring for many positions in Alaska. Probably true elsewhere but oh so obvious here.

  6. John says:

    I wonder if he disclosed this stuff on his application to be an Alaskan attorney. I wonder if the application is a public record. I hope they wouldn’t let him practice law here until he gets these investigations resolved.

Leave A Comment

%d bloggers like this: