Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Officer: Former Alaska Attorney General accused of misconduct

JUNO, Alaska ( Associated Press) — A special prosecutor said Friday it has filed a third-degree charge of sexual assault of a minor against former Alaska Attorney General Clyde “Ed” Snifen.

Greg Olson said the charges were filed Friday, but he does not yet have a stamped copy of the documents or case numbers to provide. The matter has not yet appeared in the online court record system on Friday afternoon.

An attorney representing Sniffen did not immediately return a phone message from the Associated Press.

Alaska Department of Law Deputy Attorney General Corey Mills sent an email to employees saying that the office learned that Olson filed three third-degree counts of sexual abuse of a minor against Sniffen.

The email was provided by the department to the Associated Press, which requested it.

Sniffen was a longtime attorney in that department, having been appointed attorney general in January 2021 by Governor Mike Dunleavy. However, Sniffen resigned shortly after. The attorney general had to be confirmed by the legislature, and Sniffen resigned before that point.

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Sniffen was replaced as Attorney General Kevin Clarkson, who submitted his resignation in 2020 for “lapse of judgment” following details of text messages sent to another state employee.

The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica reported last year that Sniffen’s resignation was announced as they were reporting on allegations of sexual misconduct with a 17-year-old girl three decades ago. The woman told news outlets that she and Sniffen began having sex as a high school student in 1991. News organizations reported that at the time, he was a 27-year-old lawyer with a local law firm and coach of his school’s mock trial competition team.

“As you all know, Mr. Sniffen’s relationship with a 17-year-old (at the time) girl from several years ago has been under independent investigation since the relationship came to light in January 2021,” Mills wrote in his email. ,

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“The Anchorage Police Department conducted the investigation, and the special prosecutor reviewed the investigation independent of our department. Now that the charges have been filed, a grand jury will determine whether to indict them based on the evidence presented. ,” Mills wrote.

Mills said that “the decision to charge was made by the Special Prosecutor and all other prosecution proceedings in this case will also be handled by the Special Prosecutor.”

Sniffen “Worked with us for many years. He was a valuable ally and, to many of us, a friend,” Mills wrote. “Filing today’s charge may be disappointing and discouraging, but our department serves all the people of Alaska and is committed to fairness and justice for all.”

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