Around the state

Posted: Wednesday, August 02, 2000

Ketchikan lawyer named to Superior Court

KETCHIKAN -- Trevor Stephens, a Ketchikan attorney, has been appointed a Superior Court judge.

Gov. Tony Knowles praised Stephens' legal experience and commitment to community as he announced the appointment Tuesday.

Stephens, 40, was born and raised in Ketchikan. He graduated from Willamette University Law School in Salem, Ore., before returning to his hometown.

He worked for the Alaska Public Defender Agency and the Ketchikan District Attorney's office before helping open a Ketchikan office for the Juneau firm of Faulkner Banfield last year.

Stephens, who will make about $104,000 annually, succeeds retiring Judge Thomas Jahnke, who sometimes heard cases in Juneau.

Police captain finalists visit

JUNEAU -- The city is inviting Juneau residents to listen to the two finalists for a police captain's job tonight from 6-8 p.m. in the assembly chambers. The candidates -- Thomas Porter of Amarillo, Texas, and Thomas Lee of Gilroy, Calif. -- will make presentations and answer questions from the public.

The city has been recruiting for the position since 1998, said Assistant Police Chief Greg Browning.

The candidate who becomes the Juneau Police Department's Captain of Operations will supervise all sworn personnel, including patrol officers, investigative staff and community service officers. The pay range is $56,000 to $66,000.

Lee is the founder of, a site designed to help small police departments avail themselves of the Internet, Browning said. Lee has also been a lieutenant with the Lewiston, Idaho, police department.

Porter is sergeant in charge of the crime prevention unit on the Amarillo police department. He is also the department's public affairs officer.

The candidates have started to take psychological and other written tests and have each submitted to interviews with Browning and Police Chief Mel Personett, Browning said.

The public will have the opportunity to rate the candidates' presentation at tonight's meeting. ``Both of these candidates are qualified,'' Browning said. ``And now the public input is very significant. The fit with the public is important to the department.''

The city will try to make a decision about the new captain by mid-August, he said.

Accused thief demoted by condo group

JUNEAU -- After being charged with stealing funds from a Juneau nonprofit organization, Jim Demers has been removed as president of the Forest Edge Condo Association.

Greg Clemenson, vice president of the Douglas Island condominium association, was authorized at a special board of directors meeting held July 30 to make that announcement, he said. The removal occurred at a previous special meeting.

However, Demers remains on the board, Clemenson said Tuesday, ``and, to date, we have not found any wrongdoing'' associated with Forest Edge funds or bank accounts.

Demers was charged July 7 with one count of second-degree theft and one count of altering business records, stemming from offenses during his five years as treasurer of the Alaska Folk Festival. Folk festival officials said the group is missing about $12,000.

Fairbanks Republican mounts write-in bid

FAIRBANKS -- An aide to Republican Sen. Pete Kelly is mounting a write-in campaign against Democrat Joe Hayes, another legislative aide who had been unopposed in the race to succeed retiring Democrat Tom Brice in the House. Victor Gunn, a former Fairbanks deputy police chief, announced his bid Monday.

Hayes, an aide to Brice, slipped onto the ballot alone last month after his boss announced his retirement four hours before the filing deadline.

Gunn said he wanted to file for the seat but was stopped by the Alaska Constitution, which requires candidates to live in Alaska for three years before they file for office.

Gunn had moved out of state after retiring in 1995 and returned on June 4, 1997 - two years, 362 days before this year's June 1 filing deadline. Write-in candidates, however, must have lived in the state three years from when they file their notice of intent to run for office. Gunn said he filed on Friday.

No write-in challenger has won a statewide campaign and Division of Elections officials could not recall a successful write-in campaign for the Legislature either, said Virginia Breeze, a spokeswoman for the division.

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