The entrance to the Kenai Courthouse in Kenai, Alaska, as seen on Feb. 26, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion file)

The entrance to the Kenai Courthouse in Kenai, Alaska, as seen on Feb. 26, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion file)

Kenai Superior Court applicants to be interviewed Monday

The hearing will be held by the Alaska Judicial Council

A public hearing to receive comments about applicants to the Kenai Superior Court will be held Monday at the Kenai Courthouse at noon.

The hearing will be held by the Alaska Judicial Council, part of the ongoing effort to fill an upcoming vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Jennifer K. Wells.

According to a press release from the council, members of the public are invited to attend and participate in the hearing, which will be preceded at 11:30 a.m. by an informational presentation about the evaluation process, which has been completed over the months since 11 applications were received by an October deadline.

Following the public hearing and interview, at 2 p.m., the council will interview each of the 11 candidates in executive session, closed to the public. The interviews are scheduled to run until the end of the day Monday, resuming and running again for much of Tuesday.

A vote will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, accessible to the public, which will conclude with the naming of nominees. Gov. Mike Dunleavy will have up to 45 days to appoint one of the nominees to the position.

The applicants, as named in an October press release from the council, are Lacey Jane Brewster, Amanda L. Browning, Katherine Ann Elsner, Kelly J. Lawson, Elizabeth Leduc, William T. Montgomery, Gustaf W. Olson, Curtis Patteson, Alicia Porter, William W. Taylor and Nicholas Torres.

Brewster, Elsner, Leduc, Taylor and Torres are from Kenai. Other applicants are from Palmer, Bethel, Kodiak, Anchorage and Sitka.

A bar survey of all of the applicants can be found at ajc.state.ak.us/selection/vacancies.html, compiled by the University of Alaska Institute of Social and Economic Research. The report includes numerical results ranking each applicant in professional competence, integrity, fairness, judicial temperament, suitability of experience, and overall. Results are based on a selection survey conducted among members of the Alaska Bar Association.

At that same site, a full schedule of Monday and Tuesday’s meetings is available, as well as more information about the applicants and the selection process.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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