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July 28, 2014

BREAKING: Pozonsky Resigns…Again.

The embattled Paul Pozonsky has resigned as hearing officer for the State of Alaska.  This news confirmed by the Department of Labor this afternoon.  His resignation came yesterday.  I asked if it was under pressure from the governor and was told his resignation was for “personal reasons”.

Paul Pozonsky

This story broke my column for the Anchorage Daily News last Sunday and was followed up by posts from Jeanne Devon and Linda Kellen Biegel.

I will link more information as it comes in.

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27 Responses to “BREAKING: Pozonsky Resigns…Again.”
  1. PennLawyer says:

    Here’s the breaking news about disgraced Washington County, Pennsylvania former judge Pozonsky, as reported in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette today, via AP.
    http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/washington/alaska-state-worker-resigns-amid-hiring-questions-665571/
    Former Washington County judge Pozonsky resigns Alaska state job amid hiring questions
    December 9, 2012 12:15 am

    The Associated Press

    A former Pennsylvania judge who went on to become a state worker in Alaska has suddenly resigned amid questions about whether his family political connections played a role in his hiring. Paul Pozonsky was a judge in Washington County, Pa., before he quit that post under an investigative cloud in June. He was hired as a workers’ compensation hearing officer with the Alaska Labor Department in October.

    Mr. Pozonsky is the brother-in-law of Chuck Kopp, an aide to Eagle River, Alaska Republican Sen. Fred Dyson, the newspaper reported. The application process had been closed and a hiring decision appeared imminent when “the application process was re-opened, a new application arrived, and a late applicant, Paul Pozonsky, got hired,” the the Anchorage Daily News said.

    The newspaper asked the state Labor Department Thursday for more details about Mr. Pozonsky’s hiring. Mr. Pozonsky quit the same day. Mr. Pozonsky could not be reached for comment.

    The state attorney general’s office had been investigating Mr. Pozonsky. In May, he ordered the destruction of evidence in 17 criminal cases. The district attorney for Washington County, Gene Vittone, filed a motion to halt the destruction, saying that some of the evidence was personal property and that normally local law enforcement rules guided evidence destruction. But the evidence already had been destroyed, according to paperwork filed by Mr. Pozonsky. In May, the presiding judge for Washington County Court of Common Pleas removed Mr. Pozonsky from hearing any criminal cases. He resigned in June.

    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/washington/alaska-state-worker-resigns-amid-hiring-questions-665571/#ixzz2EaGEiACf

    • PennLawyer says:

      I just was reading the posts in reply to this story at the Anchorage Daily News. Some joker styling himself as “bigsteelerfan” was ardently defending Pozonsky as the poor helpless victim of a political vendetta by Washington County’s President Judge who was a (gasp!) Democrat and (double gasp!!) feminist. The jerk actually made the bizarre observation: it’s the “worst kept secret in Pittsburgh that O’ Dell is a feminist.” First of all, speaking as a female lawyer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I think it’s fair to say that all female judges and lawyers, whether Democrat or Republican are and consider themselves to be “feminists”. “Feminist” is not considered a derogatory term in Pittsburgh legal circles, except, evidently by “bigsteelerfan”. And Washington county, by the way, is part of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area. You might as well claim “it’s the worst kept secret in Pittsburgh that O’Dell is a white female”.

      As to BSF’s claim that the whole thing is a political vendetta because the President Judge who suspended Pozonsky from hearing drug cases is a Democrat, I point out that the state’s Attorney General’s office is investigating Pozonsky. That office is headed by a Republican woman, Linda Kelly, who was appointed by Republican Governor Tom Corbett to complete his AG term when he was elected Governor. (Corbett was serving as Attorney General when he won the governor’s race.)

      Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2012/12/01/2709454/shannyn-moore-how-does-a-pennsylvania.html#storylink=cpy

      Congrats to Shannyn Moore for an excellent piece of investigative reporting. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Moore at a gathering of Mudflats bloggers in Pittsburgh a few years back. Keep up the good work!

  2. Congratulations to Shannyn, AKM and Celtic Diva on some fine work. There was a time when we had a newspaper in Alaska that did this kind of investigatory journalism. That time is apparently past.

    Why is it that the CBCers don’t learn? Arrogance? Ignorance? Or do they assume no one is watching.

    /WC

  3. Cathy Heyworth Harris says:

    I wrote a comment this morning over on the Anchorage Daily News’ article about the resignation. I wrote that it was amazing the convolutions the ADN went through to try to bump Shannyn up from a columnist to one of their reporters “breaking this story last week”. Also, the last comment a few minutes ago was someone observing that all the posts about Shannyn being a columnist, etc. had been removed. I looked for my comment and it was gone. So, I went to hit reply to this post about the disappearing posts, and could not see a “reply” buttom. Well, now I have a big yellow notice that I am now blocked from posting comments on the site. I just picked another story at random, same yellow blocking notice. Is this a violation of my freedom of speech? I really do dislike the Anchorage Daily News. Choosing the color yellow for these notices is priceless. Nice work Shannyn.

    • Pinwheel says:

      This has happened to me also. Only regret is the possible range of readership. ADN has become such a disappointment. Also sorry to hear that the Juneau Empire is going for paid e-news. Generally the coverage of State Government is pitiful. I sincerely hope some of our dedicated bloggers will be able to pick up the slack. I read Alaska Dispatch daily and get lots more well produced news than anywhere else. Most often they scoop all the other outlets. I do believe Shannyn should be credited with breaking this particular story. The power of the press does still live!!! Thanx all. n

  4. whoami says:

    Well done, Ladies! Thank you!

  5. willowwoman says:

    Thanks for the muckraking. Nellie Bly would be proud!

  6. renee99503 says:

    Thank you so much. If we, the public don’t keep paying attention, our Alaska judiciary is going to be filled at every level with patriarchal pro-lifers. Remember, we’ve still got Joe Miller’s wife on the AK Judicial Council.

  7. Cathy Heyworth Harris says:

    He would still be employed if you hadn’t of broken this story. And the underlying nepotism in Alaskan politics will continue, unfortunately. You deserve an award for investigative reporting. As the ADN slowly sinks into its bog of its own making, we are lucky to have The Mudflats on the job in their place. Thank you.

    • I'm calmer than you Dude says:

      Mudflats did a GREAT job on this report, but I want more! Prompted here by the term nepotism. Who exactly stood to benefit and how?

      • PennLawyer says:

        “As quoted from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/Associated Press bove, “Mr. Pozonsky is the brother-in-law of Chuck Kopp, an aide to Eagle River, Alaska Republican Sen. Fred Dyson, the newspaper reported. The application process had been closed and a hiring decision appeared imminent when “the application process was re-opened, a new application arrived, and a late applicant, Paul Pozonsky, got hired,” the the Anchorage Daily News said.”

  8. Joe Huber says:

    Glad he’s gone and kudos for the reporting — ut I wish there had been a process in place for a formal inquiry into the allegations and official action as a result. Simply resigning “for personal reasons” iis not a satisfactory conclusion to the allegations of corruption.

  9. Elsie says:

    Outstanding work, ladies, exposing the slime and would-be slime of Alaskan government.

    Score “1″ for the good guys.

  10. Mark says:

    Citizen journalism! The beauty of the internet fulfilled.

  11. AKblue says:

    Yea! There is hope!
    Clapping loudly!

  12. akbright says:

    Great job! Great reporting! Thanks, 3 Amigas.

  13. Alaska Cod Piece says:

    Great work, Shannyn and AKM — but isn’t it sad that a story of this magnitude is generated by a columnist and a blogger, instead of the Anchorage Daily News and other media … Just sayin …

    Now will Parnell avoid any interrogations and just brush this bogus hiring incident under the rug?

  14. Maeve says:

    Thank you Shannyn, Linda and Jeanne!
    Nicely done.

  15. The Lawman says:

    Well looks like the law might be coming to Alaska after all…

  16. Sourdough Mullet says:

    Wow – pretty bad when you’re too corrupt to succeed in Alaska politics.
    What’s left? Arizona? Maybe he’s personal friends with Joe Arpaio or Jan Brewer there.
    It worked for Sarah….

  17. wallflower says:

    Well, nepotism *is* personal, right?

  18. Zyxomma says:

    Good going!

  19. yukonbushgrma says:

    “PERSONAL REASONS” ????? Like possibly not being eligible? (Well, hey — maybe something actually worked out right, thanks to Mudflats!)

    Good grief, don’t they think anyone is going to check these people out? What kind of state are we living in anyway?

    (Oh yeah, I forgot ……… Alaska.)

    I think we need a NEW way for the state to engage with its residents — a way to actually find out what our needs are, and what we need to live a decent life here. Yes, it comes down to politics — and our current politics are sorely needing.

    There really is little interaction with the Bush and Rural communities, unless it’s something the state is mandated to do, and then we have to spend a lot of time sending them meaningless reports and data that probably never go anywhere. It just doesn’t seem like our state representatives care much about their people outside of the populated areas.

    Harumphhhhhhh.
    Ugh.

    • John says:

      Our state representatives work hard to divide urban and rural. It is up to the rest of us to create the conversation that will unite us.

  20. ugavic says:

    Thanks ladies, although something tells me this man and a few other are not thinking ‘ladies’!!

    There is TOO damn much of this in the state!!

  21. FISHEYE says:

    The power of the press!

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