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Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:14 PM

How does a Pennsylvania ex-judge under investigation land an Alaska job?

Are any of you Pennsylvanians familiar with former Pennsylvania judge Paul Pozonsky, and what can you tell us about him? This is just one more example of inexplicable behavior by our "hinky" governor Sean Parnell, who almost makes me miss Sarah.



http://www.adn.com/2012/12/01/2709454/shannyn-moore-how-does-a-pennsylvania.html



<snip>

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)?

<snip>

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.)

<snip

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply How does a Pennsylvania ex-judge under investigation land an Alaska job? (Original post)
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 OP
Curmudgeoness Dec 2012 #1
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #2
Curmudgeoness Dec 2012 #5
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #6
Curmudgeoness Dec 2012 #7
femmocrat Dec 2012 #3
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #4
bigsteelerfan Dec 2012 #8
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #9
hrmjustin Dec 2012 #10
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #11
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #12
happyslug Dec 2012 #13
rug Dec 2012 #14

Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:59 PM

1. We send all of our shitty judges to Alaska.

Seriously, though, I don't know about this one. I am sure someone does. I would guess that our illustrious governor pulled some strings for him to get him out of the way.....and Alaska is definitely out of the way.

So it sounds like your state leadership is as corrupt as ours is. Mazel tov!

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 10:04 PM

2. Our state leadership is pathetic beyond words.

The governor is a former ConocoPhillips lobbyist who worked for the law firm that represented Exxon in the spill litigation. He has been putting all his efforts the past two legislative sessions into a $2 billion a year tax "incentive" giveaway to the big oil companies and when our bipartisan legislature wouldn't go along with his plans, he made sure that the districts were gerrymandered to get rid of several of the dissenters. He wasn't completely successful but successful enough that there is now a solid Republican majority in both houses.

I could go on, but I don't want to make you cry.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:30 PM

5. I cry every day.......

that sounds just like PA. Republicans rule everywhere, governor, and both House and Senate, and gerrymandering that was a joke. But I have good feelings about the Attorney General who was just elected and hopefully will be aggressive about legal issues. And the Auditor General who was elected could really keep an eye on things. At least that is my dream.

I would not be pleased with an oil company lobbyist as a governor, although it doesn't seem to matter how they get them in their pockets, does it?

My sympathies to you....and for both states.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:41 PM

6. Sadly, our attorney general is appointed by the governor

under our constitution, which in some ways is good since he can't be bought through the electoral process, but it does encourage severe cronyism, which is bad. Our recent attorneys general have been more interested in protecting the interests of whichever governor they're serving rather than the interests of the people of Alaska. Sarah was the worst in that regard.

Doing a little bit more research on the "good" judge here in this case, it seems that his wife has connections to our former Lieutenant Governor under Frank Murkowski, Loren Leman, who is an extreme fundy, as is our current governor. I swear, they're trying to turn Alaska into Alabama north. (No offense to liberal Alabamans, but you know what I'm talking about.)

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:57 PM

7. So sad that politicians can make our home states suck. nt

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 10:32 PM

3. His wife is from Alaska. Here is a link:

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 10:45 PM

4. Thanks.

We've been doing a lot of googling here, too, and we were aware of this Alaska connection (which when one digs deeper has its own Dominionist weirdnesses). I just thought maybe someone there might have some insights that we lack here. This one has flown totally under the radar and wouldn't have come to anyone's attention if not for Shannyn's opinion piece. This is the way Seanoco operates, cronyism and backroom deals.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:52 PM

8. I know Judge Pozonsky

I live in the PA county where Judge Pozonsky served for almost 30 years. First as a local magistrate and then as a judge. He is a good and capable judge and more than qualified for a job as a hearing officer. He had a reputation for being very hard-working and handling the heaviest caseload of any judge in the county. He really is highly competent. I don't live in AK so I can't speak to the politics or connections in getting a government job. Seeing his work here though I don't think they made the wrong choice to hire him.

With his long history on the bench and the fact that he handled mostly criminal cases, the media reports have cherry-picked a few more controversial cases about him which I don't think is fair. The most reported one is his death penalty case where a mother literally starved her 7 year old down to 12 pounds! That's sound impossible but it's true. When the child finally died the mother drove down the highway and threw the body out the window like an empty Big Gulp. Pozonsky sentenced her to death. Seems like the right sentence to me.

As to his legal troubles, I can't speak to that though no charges have been filed and they might not be filed. Judges have a lot of discretion here with the handling/destruction of evidence. He probably pushed the edges but didn't violate judicial codes of conduct and even less likely he broke any laws.

I don't about AK residency requirements, law licenses and all that. I do know he was a good judge and many lawyers were sad to see him leave the bench. He was fair and worked quickly and the judges remaining have done nothing but complain about the volume of work they have had to absorb in taking up his cases.

I know this is not what you wanted to read but you asked if anyone was familiar with him and I am.

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Response to bigsteelerfan (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:00 PM

9. Thank you. I would not have asked if I didn't want to know.

My main concern is why was the application period reopened for him and what is his connection to Alaska's most famous Dominionists -- Chuck Kopp, Frank Bailey, Loren Leman, and Sarah Palin. More here: http://www.themudflats.net/?p=34323

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Response to bigsteelerfan (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:24 PM

10. Welcome to DU!

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 08:34 PM

11. Judge Pozonsky has resigned from his hearing officer position

for "personal reasons." Enough questions to make him (or the governor) reconsider, it would seem.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 06:50 PM

12. I guess the good judge may be coming back to you guys after all.

http://www.adn.com/2012/12/07/2717359/ex-judge-from-pennsylvania-suddenly.html

ANCHORAGE An Alaska workers' compensation hearing officer who started work for the state in October resigned suddenly Thursday, days after a Daily News columnist raised questions about politics in the hiring process and the same day a reporter contacted a Labor Department official for answers.

Paul Pozonsky, 57, came to the post from Pennsylvania, where he had served as a judge for 14 years but quit in June under an investigative cloud, a departure extensively covered by Pennsylvania news media. Among other issues, he had ordered the destruction of evidence in 17 criminal cases, which the local district attorney called "highly unusual," according to news reports.

Efforts to reach him late Friday were unsuccessful.

Pozonsky's wife is the former Sara Crapuchettes, whose brother is Chuck Kopp, an aide to Sen. Fred Dyson, R-Eagle River, and once the pick of then-Gov. Sarah Palin to serve as her public safety commissioner. Pozonsky stayed in the state job almost two months, longer than the 14 days Kopp lasted as public safety commissioner, before resigning amid allegations of sexual harassment in a previous job.

On Sunday, columnist Shannyn Moore told Alaskans about the peculiar hiring of Pozonsky, writing that the application process had been closed, candidates had been interviewed and a hiring decision appeared imminent.

<snip>


Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2012/12/07/2717359/ex-judge-from-pennsylvania-suddenly.html#storylink=cpy

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:20 AM

13. Here is the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on that Judge, he resides in the county SOUTH of Pittsburgh

http://searchbeta.post-gazette.com/?q=Paul+Pozonsky&Search.x=10&Search.y=11&Search=Search&sort=d&n=30&dateFrom=0&dateTo=0&template=desktop&search_pg=1

Appears to be a Judge willing to seal Court Decision involving Fracking for Natural Gas In Washington County.

He had been a County Court of Common Pleas Judge for 15 years before he resigned in July 2012. Previously he had been a "District Judge" which in Pennsylvania is the latest name for what used to be called "Justice of the Peace" and had been a JP for 14 years before getting elected to be a County Court of Common Pleas Judge.

The two big issue in Washington County is Marcellus Gas drilling AND Long Wall Coal Mining. Marcellus Gas has to due with drinking water and how the material used in Fracking affects water from springs. Long wall mining not only affects springs, but often leads to problems with structures (such as houses) above the mined out area. In regard to this judge I can NOT see anything with Long Wall Mining, but I did see some decisions in regards to Marcellus Gas operations.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:43 PM

14. Here's some info on his investigation.

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