JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska’s new attorney general said he will review issues related to the Alaska National Guard, including ensuring that proper prosecutions were brought for wrongful behavior.
Craig Richards said part of that review will include whether he believes a special prosecutor should be brought in to handle the investigation. “You start by reviewing the material that’s available both within the department and without and talking to people that have handled it — and that will lead to a decision about whether it makes sense to bring in a special prosecutor to focus on any of the guard issues, you know, full time basically,” he said.
Problems in the National Guard cast a shadow of the recent election for governor, with critics questioning the handling of allegations of sexual assault and other misconduct within the guard by then-Gov. Sean Parnell. A report by the National Guard Bureau’s Office of Complex Investigations released in September found that victims lacked confidence in the command structure and led to the ouster of Thomas Katkus as adjutant general.
Richards, 39, is the former law partner of Gov. Bill Walker, who defeated Parnell and took office Monday. Walker last week announced Richards as his pick to replace Michael Geraghty as attorney general. The appointment must be approved by lawmakers.