David Ignell: If ethical rules matter to Dunleavy, his attorney general must resign

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By DAVID IGNELL

On Dec. 1, I sent a letter to Gov. Mike Dunleavy requesting the resignation of Attorney General Treg Taylor. For the complete basis of my request, you may read my five-page letter here. For a summary of my letter, please read on.

The Alaska Court Rules of Professional Conduct establish the ethical obligations for all practicing lawyers in our state. For example, the Rules are supposed to prevent lawyers from representing clients if they have a conflict of interest. For instance, when a grand jury is investigating the Department of Law, a lawyer from the department who is subordinate to the officers being investigated can’t be the grand jury’s advisor. Common sense stuff, right?

The Rules are also supposed to place special responsibilities on prosecutors. For instance, Rule 3.8 imposes special duties on them to prevent and rectify the conviction of innocent people, such as disclosing to the court new and credible evidence indicating a person did not commit a crime they were convicted of. Again, this isn’t rocket science.

The final set of Rules falls under the heading, “Maintaining the Integrity of the Profession.” It sounds pretty important, doesn’t it? This is where actions constituting professional misconduct are outlined, and where other lawyers are instructed to report the misconduct of their colleagues. Lawyers are after all, a self-regulating bunch, according to the Rules.

One clear example of misconduct is for a prosecutor and a judge to force an unfair trial where the attorney for the accused is not given an equal opportunity to prepare and present their case. The Rules call a lopsided trial like that a “perversion” and an “obstruction of justice.” The Rules say it undermines public respect for our legal system.

The Rules tell Alaska lawyers their “relative autonomy” carries with it grave responsibilities. They are specifically instructed that “neglect of these responsibilities compromises the independence of the profession and the public interest which it serves.”

Attorney General Treg Taylor is supposed to abide by these Rules. Many citizens would probably agree it is more critical for Taylor to follow his ethical responsibilities than it is for any other lawyer in Alaska. When an attorney general ignores these duties, what message is sent to every other lawyer in the state?

Starting about six weeks ago, I tried to remind Taylor of his ethical responsibilities regarding 1) grand jury investigations in Juneau and Kenai, 2) the wrongful conviction of Thomas Jack Jr., of Hoonah, and 3) the misconduct of the prosecutors and judge that landed an innocent man in jail.

For good measure I copied Dunleavy on my letters to Taylor. Taylor didn’t respond. Neither did Dunleavy.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve brought Dunleavy’s attention to an egregious ethical violation by a high-ranking lawyer within his administration. It wasn’t the first time Dunleavy has ignored me.

Taylor is Dunleavy’s third attempt at trying to find a good apple to serve as Alaska’s attorney general. His first two didn’t pan out too well. Is that a reflection on our governor, the Alaska Bar Association, or both?

When our legal system doesn’t care about its ethical obligations, the public is not only justified in expressing their concerns, but the Rules even predict our angst.

If you think Alaskans are entitled to an attorney general who respects the ethical rules they are supposed to follow, then let Dunleavy know. Liberty and justice depend on you.

David Ignell was born and raised in Juneau, where he currently resides. He holds a law degree from University of San Diego and formerly practiced as a licensed attorney in state and federal courts in California. He is a forensic journalist and author of a recent book on the Alaska Grand Jury.

83 COMMENTS

  1. In the spirit of Festivus, Mr. Ignell loudly airs his grievances. Hard to see how this constitutes MRAK worthiness, but maybe subsequent commenters will see something I didn’t.

    • Let’s just hope that Mr. Ignell does not also call on our governor when it comes to the (political) feats of strength, wherein our illustrious governor typically folds like a cheap lawnchair.

    • Reliable, you mistakenly describe the issues described by Mr. Ignell as “his grievances.” In fact, said grievances are owned by all of us. Surely you agree our constitution and laws are the cornerstone of our republic. From what I see, Mr. Ignell is exposing a festering infection of impropriety and corruption within our judiciary… at the cost of his own time and expense I might add. It is hard for me to understand why anyone would be dismissive of his efforts. God forbid you ever find yourself a victim of said corruption.

      • Wayne, I think it is being described as ‘his’ grievances because when you actually look at the letter you see lots of allegations and very little if any evidence to support them.

        • Bob, I see your point. However, if Mr. Ignell’s grievances turn out to have any degree of merit whatsoever, they thereby become a propounded defense of the rights of all of us. Its not as if he is pursuing compensation for a tort he suffered personally and exclusively. Accordingly, it makes perfect sense for us to see these grievances tested by further investigation(s).

  2. I’m no fan of Dunleavy. He has a long history of silence when he should be speaking out.

    But I think in this case it more reflects the quality of candidates available than the actions of the man.

    Our legal system is sick.

    • This article outlines the selective justice our justice system offers these days. Unfortunately the current priorities of our justice system seems to be politically driven or driven my personal agendas. An example of what frustrates me is prosecutors working for 100% convictions over seeking justice. These personal beneficial actions appear to roll up hill to judges as well as the AG. If this isn’t occurring what is the risk in a grand jury investigation? The only risk I see is that the system is as broken as many believe. Individuals in powerful positions would take a political and or financial loss if this is officially exposed, especially if steps are taken to repair practices that are financially beneficial to many in the justice system.

  3. Sir, please cite the exact violations of the RPC that the AG violated. If you are a true forensic journalist maybe you should investigate these conflicts, betrayal of trust, and moral turpitude too:

    1. Arizona governor-elect Hobbes certification of her own election while concurrently serving as the Arizona Secretary of State.
    2. Former Governor Bill Walker’s failure to provide full disclosure to Alaskans about his Lt Governor’s tryst with an underaged girl in 2018. Was Bill Walker part of a cover-up? Walker never explained either while governor, or, later as a candidate.
    3. Bill Walker’s personal financial involvement with a gas pipeline project with the Communist Chinese while governor, AND his wife’s receiving overseas gift money while acting in an official capacity.
    4. Scott Kendall providing legal services directly to Bill Walker and Lisa Murkowski in the form of
    an RCV scheme to cheat Alaskans out of their one person/one vote right to select their candidate. Who paid Kendall’s fees?
    .
    Please go back and review the RPC and make note that the rules apply to all licensed attorneys and not just the ones that you have political hatred towards. As an attorney and a journalist, you have the legal and moral duty to report the truth without omissions. Otherwise, you are widely viewed as just another political animal with a grudge.

    • Interesting retort Chrissy. Every person you named above is an attorney, including the author of the piece referenced. Lawyers ratting out other members of their profession. Doctors don’t do this. They bury their mistakes.

    • ChrissyB, the RPC sections you seek are specifically identified in the letter to the Governor.

      I have no political hatred towards Mr. Taylor. I first tried to quietly point out, on multiple occasions, his ethical obligations. He chose to completely ignore me. Same with Mr. Dunleavy. They both need to do their jobs and honor their oaths and their ethical responsibilities. If they refuse, then they’re not fit for public office. Holding high ranking public officials accountable isn’t a grudge.

      BTW, I have no political party affiliation. I’m for Justice. Hope you are too.

      • Guess what, David Ignell……… most of us at Must Read are also for Justice. Chrissy made a point that you should ponder. Where was the Justice for the underaged girl that was subjected to Byron Mallott’s sexual compulsion.

        And why was it swept under the rug by Bill Walker and then the ADN? Dunleavy won over 50% and enjoys much public support. Bill Walker was spat on by Alaskans in November. Finished off.

        Why don’t you do an ethics letter to MRAK about the former governor’s cover-up and successful effort to deny Justice to an underaged girl. Then maybe we’ll take you seriously.

      • I would weigh in and say that Mr. Ignell is more for “selective justice” that shines a light on those he disagrees with. Pretty clear cut. Another Juneau Democrat, far removed from Alaskans who believe that justice is an across the board matter. Selective justice is what our DOJ is engaged in now. Love to see what this guy thinks about Joe and Hunter Biden, Jim Comey, Mr. Brennan, and all of the top level FBI goons who work the selective justice trade. Crickets!!!!!

        • Artfull: It appears you were a bit quick to put a dismissive label on the messenger. Beneath my article Suzanne put a link to my previous MRAK article, entitled “The Fight For Judicial Reform and Elimination of Democrat Cartel Controlling our Courts, Round 2”. You should go back and read it, you might agree with me.

          I certainly agree with you that Justice should be immune from politics.

          Besides attacking the messenger and venting your angst at unrelated federal investigations 3000 miles away, is there anything you have to say in defense of the Alaska Attorney General not following his ethical responsibilities as specifically outlined in my letter? Both grand jury investigations he’s impeding involve concerns of judicial corruption and political influences on the AK Judicial Council and Supreme Court. Do you think its ok for Taylor to ignore the Rules and deny those investigative grand juries independent counsel?

          • Artfull: BTW, I’m 100% in support of a grand jury investigation into the Hunter Biden affair and the possible involvement of our President. The American people deserve to know the truth from the non-political source they can best trust — the grand jury.

            “The Grand Jury has always been disliked by politicians. It is the only body charged with investigating public offices, and the only part of the prosecuting machinery that does not have to go before a political convention.” San Francisco Chronical editorial, 1907, cited at page 33 of my book on the Alaska Grand Jury.

  4. Mike Dunleavy is weak. When he doesn’t want to address something that he should address, he won’t. This has been my personal and professional experience with him. And now we have yet another example. Poor quality opposition candidates in the recent election is the only reason we are saddled with Dunleavy for another term. Woe is us!

  5. There is a lot to go through here for the average person.

    1. There should be significant grounds for appeal in the case described.

    2. The legislature- specifically the Judiciary Committee should take this issue up. They can bring in the appropriate individuals from the Department of Law and question them, under oath. They should also be able to subpoena records.

    So, I’d be talking to more legislators…

    • M, I think it is important to note that our legal system has it’s roots going back into English History, all the way back to the Normans. Given the above , I agree with you that there is a lot for us to go through, especially since most of us have been poorly educated on the subject, (some might argue purposely so). I believe that if you study the origin of our Law and look at the debates of our Founding Fathers you will discover that they were acutely aware of the need of a system of checks and balances to keep our Government honest. I’m pretty certain that our Founders would find calling a Grand Jury, “Furniture” by a District Attorney to be revolting. I think it’s past time for the people to assert themselves into our Judicial System. When the Democrats in the Alaska Bar Association pick every Judge and D.A.’s are responsive to political whim, then yes, it’s past time to listen to people like David Ignell.

    • M, there’s a whole lot more I left out in an attempt at relative brevity with the Governor. He has sufficient facts to do the right thing.

      Regarding Mr. Jack’s appeal, the junior cartel members on the Court of Appeal put blinders on to several Constitutional and ethical violations by State officials, and then the Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal.

      Mr. Jack has a great case for Post Conviction Relief based on the unfair trial. This is what the judge and the prosecutor were referring to when they discussed the “risk” of re-trying a 6 year old case. Well, its now a 13 year old case. His PCR motion has been pending since 2015 yet hasn’t even been briefed! Mr. Jack is at the mercy of the State for legal aid after his family was run out of money getting through the first trial.

      No dice with the legislature, in particular both Judiciary Committees. I appeared before them several times this past winter, even giving them extremely credible evidence in other Juneau cases showing a pattern of abuse of discretion. They ignored and gave the Department of Law even more discretion.

    • Anon, so, “you will be all right” while a falsely-convicted man rots in jail for the rest of his life. I, for one, believe this to be one of the worst abominations imaginable… at the hands of a judiciary system corrupted by its own power structure.

      • Shrug. That’s the attitude. And it’s global. Until humanity stands up and fights, it will continue unabated, or quietly squashed. Shh.
        Do it until the courts say you can’t. Figure out who said that, and that’s how deep it really is. And that’s our local yokel squawking that.

    • Frank, say what you will about Trump, his kids didn’t turn out like your man Biden’s. Credit Trump that much. I really feel sorry for Biden’s children.

  6. What do you people want? We had only 1 viable candidate for governor and he won by a margin that could not be manipulated by computer, ballot harvesting, or RCV. We could have a governor like the ones who rule WA, OR, & CA? I’m sure after Dunleavy we will, so enjoy these next 4 years.

    • Jim, my vote for Dunleavy was part of that margin you referred to. That doesn’t change the fact that Alaska’s Attorney General must follow the state’s ethical regulations and set the tone for the legal profession.

  7. Frank, no loyalty is deserved in this situation. Too many are guilty of corruption! Honor among thieves, scoundrels & liars is what is happening across our Great State in every branch of government. What isn’t corrupted completely is ” its people ” who have the real power as stated in our Constitution- “All political power is inherent in the people.” All government originates with the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the people as a whole.” If they will speak up! Justice only survives from the just freedom’s it insures; once either is unprincipled neither is worthy of existence! Alaskans are better & deserving of what is happening around us! Speak up before your voice is meaningless! What better time to exercise your “Corresponding Obligation” then now! Thank you, Mr. Ignell.

  8. Wow.

    Based upon this writing sample of Mr. Ignell it seems that anyone can graduate law school now and pass the bar.

    I wouldn’t hire him and I wouldn’t recommend him. He’s here making a plea with disjointed phrases and rants rather than reasonings.

    I could only imagine with this as a sample how he performs in a courtroom or writing a brief.

    Are you alright, Mr. Ignell?

    • 17th, I’m doing just fine, thank you. If my writing offends you, there’s a certain best-seller you might want to check out with the same message:

      If you see the poor oppressed, rights violated and justice perverted in the province, don’t be surprised; for a high official has one higher watching him, and there are others above them. Ecclesiastes 5:7

      They hate anyone promoting justice at the city gate, they detest anyone who speaks the truth. Amos 5:10

      Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, men whose power goes to mixing strong drinks, who acquit the guilty for bribes but deny justice to the righteous! Isaiah 5:22-23

      17th, are you delivering the alcohol to their party?

      • Let us also remember, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will heal their land.” 2Chron7:14

      • Repeal the 17th ,your Attack , Attack , Attack is your ” opinion ” for lack of understanding for common language with passion from one’s heart , for a consistent & responsive government !
        I know Mr. Ignell’s work & ethics which is to see justice for all. Your slanderous statements are without knowledge or diligence, your lack of review of any pleadings in Mr. Jacks case!
        Do your research. Your ” I can only imagine ” proves your insult to his commitment to sound reasonings, This is what is happening across America today, people like you , without your own due diligence to back up your strife , attack someone else for their fitness! Shame on you! Good Alaskans don’t do what you do!
        Question to you Repeal the 17th , say why you ,( if your title is directing us to the constitution ) want to do away with this “an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1913, providing for the election of two U.S. senators from each state by popular vote and for a term of six years” inquiring minds want to know!

  9. I stand by our governor and our attorney general 100%. The tone
    of this man’s letter use
    a contentious sarcastic communication by someone bitter,inscure, and weak
    . Dunleavy is starting his first year his second term. Remember Dems are not happy. And remember treg he recently defended ak’s second amendment rights. Be grateful and support him and dunleavy. By david’s letter writing style he don’t sound happy and thinks his listeners are stupid just as an elite thinks of anyone.

    • Jen, are you grateful that Mr. Taylor is interfering with grand jury investigations to investigate the Commission on Judicial Conduct (Kenai) and the political motivations on the Alaska Judicial Council and our courts including the Alaska Supreme Court (Juneau)? Are you grateful that conservative judge Roetman wasn’t nominated (again) for the Supreme Court?

      • Ignell,
        So, what’s wrong with Judge Roetman? Are you so liberal and left wing that you can define a judge by his prior rulings? You apparently have a big agenda in your pursuit against Dunleavy. I hope Big Mike puts you on permanent “ignore.”
        I would.

        • Ted: You completely misinterpreted my reply to Jen. I want a grand jury to investigate why Roetman wasn’t on the list of nominations forwarded to the Governor. I hear Roetman is a good judge, but leans conservative and has been passed over twice by the AJC.

          I suggest you read my previous article above that Suzanne put a link to and then read my post in Suzanne’s 12/7 article about the AJC nominations. Then let’s continue this dialogue.

          Loren’s Leman’s statement during the Anchorage ConCon debate about Democrat control of the AJC and my requested grand jury investigation into the politics of the AJC might give Dunleavy a means to delay on the four nominations and give Roetman a fair chance to become our newest Supreme Court Justice.

  10. Thank you, Mr. Ignell, for the letter asking for his resignation, and for bringing my cousin Thomas Jack Jr’s case the attention it deserves. I pray Thomas and our family will receive justice and some peace. Alaskans deserve better.

  11. Questions for Mr. Ignell:
    1. What were the blinders that you allege were put on the “Regarding Mr. Jack’s appeal, the junior cartel members on the Court of Appeal put blinders on to several Constitutional and ethical violations by State officials, and then the Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal. ” What were the dates?
    2. The dates of the “its now a 13 year old case. His PCR motion has been pending since 2015” It would appear that this case has been around since before Bill Walker was governor. Was Walker approached and was his Attorney General approached to resolve this issue and what was the results?
    3. Why has this just surfaced? It would appear that this case has been around since Sean Parnell’s tenure, if the 13 year range is correct.
    4. Was there any involvement of AG Taylor in this case before he became AG?
    These questions need to be answered, as it would appear that this case has spanned the tenures of three governors. Thanks in advance for your response.

    • One more question: Why did it take the witness 12 years (2010 – 2022) to issue this statement? and who funds the group Public Advocacy And Justice For All Alaskans? Suzanne – care to get involved in the second part of this question? Anyone else know? Thanks in advance for any response.

    • I thought I was done here, but now I have another question: It is what I see in Mr. Ignell’s response to ChrissyB: “I have no political hatred towards Mr. Taylor. I first tried to quietly point out, on multiple occasions, his ethical obligations. He chose to completely ignore me. Same with Mr. Dunleavy. They both need to do their jobs and honor their oaths and their ethical responsibilities. If they refuse, then they’re not fit for public office. Holding high ranking public officials accountable isn’t a grudge.” Are we going to see another attempt at a recall? Is this to be used to initiate that response? Is this an attempt to again ambush the governor through a 13 year-old case in which he and Mr. Taylor were not involved? Again, why was this case not pursued under the Bill Walker Administration?

      • Sheila, please read my response to Jose and Julia. Pages 116-117 of my book on the Alaska Grand Jury should answer many of your questions. If you want to know more about Mr. Jack’s case, a summary of the 60 page report I sent Dunleavy, Clarkson, Bolger and other state officials can be downloaded on my website. If you still have questions after reading these materials, I’ll try to answer them as succinctly as possible.

        • David – I went to your site to read what you have out there. It looks like that might take a little time. Also, I see that it is an Alaska Native case, and that there appears to be evidence that the charges recanted by the victim. Was the victim examined by a medical doctor? That may be in one of the reports, but I am just trying to save a little time. Because if that had been done, the absence of Mr. Jack’s seaman would have exonerated him. Are there other political issues in this case, such as people who may have wanted Mr. Jack hurt in some way? December 2018 – 2019 was a bad time to hit a new governor with these issues. The sniping from the Walker camp was in full swing and the recall effort had begun just weeks after he was sworn in and could even get acquainted with his job. And instead of calling for the heads of Dunleavy and Taylor, which is what you are in fact doing, it might be better to focus on the process of judge selection on the Supreme Court itself, which apparently will continue to be a cause for concern until Alaskans can pass an initiative to correct that process. Also, since you have experience in California as well as returning to Alaska, you might be able to help Alaskans use this case to help correct the process by helping to write the initiative. By turning your efforts in this direction you also might gain more political allies, including Governor Dunleavy, who cannot be happy with the current situation. Just a thought. Will add more after I get through all of your documentation.

  12. I searched for your name, Mr. Ignell, in the Alaska Bar Directory, and came up with nothing. Are you licensed to practice law in any jurisdiction? I also read your full letter to Governor Dunleavy and his Attorney General. This has the smell of a witch hunt and your way to pin down Governor Dunleavy. Do you seek justice for all interested parties or just for those who you politically disagree with. How does a forensic journalist, who is not an active attorney, decide to choose which target he will pursue? What is your source of funding for your epic project to embarrass the Dunleavy Administration? Would you do the same if a Democrat was in the Governor’s Office?Are you another unemployed book writer looking for a topic that will ascend you far into Democratic social circles? Your ambition seems very misguided and disproportional. I can understand why Governor Dunleavy chooses to ignore you. You present a tone, seemingly high and mighty on ethical standards, but one designed to pester a newly elected Governor. This may be to settle a score for your own purposes. IE, your ulterior motives obviously reach beyond a fair-minded application of the justice you purport to seek.

    • Jose, I am capable or reading and understanding our our common language as well as any so-called licensed lawyer. Don’t sell yourself short. Strike from your heart any tendency to submit to arguments from authority (which are logical fallacies). The judicial overlords would cite the principal of “res judicata” as one of several excuses for not re-opening the Thomas Jack Jr case. The real reason for their use of Latin terminology is to intimidate us into submission. However, don’t forget that your ignorance of the law is no excuse at the bar. Therefore, make no mistake, every American is a lawyer.

    • Jose, I know David Ignell. David grew up in Alaska and afterwards practiced Law in California for decades. David invested wisely and is now retired, save for his work to free a man from prison,
      I don’t think David gives a hoot about being employed or gaining some book deal.
      If you are interested in David’s ” Alaska” law experience I know that while he was in Law School he apprenticed some for a Juneau Lawyer named Jim Bradley. Sadly Jim has passed, I think his firm was fairly reputable. You might dig around Hoonah or ask Juneau Old Timers if you want to learn more about David. His Mother and Father were well known in that community for their charity.

      • Robert, thank you for remembering Jim Bradley, a great Alaskan lawyer and one of my mentors. Jim took his former Empire paperboy under his wing that summer. When it was time for me to return to CA, he presented me with a plaque with certain words of wisdom that I still carry with me today. May Jim continue to RIP and he think he is smiling down on me from that great racquetball court in the sky.

        Also, thanks for remembering Mom and Dad. When I read Proverbs 31:8 on Mother’s Day almost 6 years ago, it was as if she was talking to me. That verse led me to volunteer for the California Innocence Project, which then led to a friend telling me about Thomas Jack, Jr.

        For the record, I practiced law in California for only one decade, before taking some of those skills and venturing out into the world of trading commercial real estate debt.

    • Jose and Julia,

      Before pinning labels on the messenger, you should read my previous article on MRAK that Suzanne put a link to above. The headline alone will give you a clue I’m not looking to “ascend in Democratic social circles”.

      Regarding my credentials, apparently you skipped over the section at the end of the article that says I formerly practiced as a licensed attorney in California. If you want to learn more about my background and the purpose behind my advocacy for Justice, go to pages 116-117 of my recent book on the Alaska Grand Jury. You can read or download it for free at PoweredByJustice.com.

      I’m not working for anybody and I’m working for free. Alaska is my legacy and I’m ashamed at what its legal system has become. Seeing an innocent and good, but helpless man like Thomas Jack, Jr. rot away in jail for the last 12 years is all the motivation I need to donate my time to help restore Justice in our land. His wrongful conviction exposes systemic injustice in Alaska for those without substantial wealth or political connections.

      After you’ve read my bio, if each of you could respond on the merits of my article. Tell me, what gives the Attorney General the right to ignore those specified ethical responsibilities? Why should Taylor allow grand juries to be advised by prosecutors with egregious conflicts of interest?

  13. As American and world politics over the past 25 years have demonstrated, what do ‘ethical rules’ have to do with anything?

  14. David, Again, thank you for your dedication for the past 3+ years trying to bring justice for my brother Thomas Jack Jr.
    My comments are the same as the last article you wrote addressing my brothers case.
    I hope each individual commenting on the wrongful conviction of Thomas will remember that he is a living being. He is my baby brother, my Mother’s only son.
    My brother’s case is only one example of the thousands of natives within Alaska justice system, who were sucked up and spit out into a prison cell. Over 40% of individuals incarcerated in Alaska are Alaska Native, yet we only comprise 15.7% of the Alaska population per the 2020 census. As a native growing up in Hoonah back in the 70’s and 80’s the racism was overt, now-a-days it plays a more subtle role– such as in the courtroom, but it has not just disappeared. Justice should be color blind, but it is not. The statistics do not lie. The system is failing many and innocent people are spending years incarcerated because of a broken system.

    Thomas’ only “crime” was being unsophisticated and trusting in the goodness of others; and a fair and just court system. Lastly, the citizens of this great state, no matter color or political affiliation deserve and must demand Judges who are truly color blind. Judges or other members of the Judiciary should have no opportunity to “use” citizens as a means to promote professional or political opportunities.

    How is this accomplished? I believe this can be achieved if we approach this important issue of judicial reform with an open and honest dialog. The only agenda must be striving for equal justice for all. The goal of the judicial system should not be “winning” but rather what is right and what is true. Let us not forget our founding fathers– specifically Benjamin Franklin– who stated that it is better to have 10 guilty persons go free than one innocent person suffer wrongful incarceration.
    All are free to have their own opinion, however, please have the respect for the Alaska Judicial system and fellow Alaska Citizens to learn more about David’s work. Please go to http://WWW.Poweredbyjustice.com. This site can assist in addressing questions about David’s motives and his focus on this case. In addition, David’s work illustrates the malfeasance conducted by the presiding Judge, prosecutors, law enforcement and social workers.
    My brother’s life and the future for all Alaskan’s to be assured Fair and Equal justice depend on unity on this issue, not partisan division.

    • Yvette, thank you for your kind words. I wanted to comment briefly on your statistics regarding Alaska Natives. I was advised this past week by a very credible source that Alaska Natives account for over 50% of the children in the OCS foster care system. I’ve heard several complaints that your race is being used as a “resource” for growth in State government.

      Many citizens “up north” have been trying to get a grand jury investigation into the OCS off the ground for the past few years. The Department of Law and the Alaska Court System have teamed up repeatedly to suppress their efforts. Their latest brainchild was the December 1 order from the Supreme Court attempting to steer citizen requests for grand jury investigations through the Attorney General. More evidence of an alarming lack of separation of powers in Alaska!

      This is yet another example of Alaska’s systemic corruption that your brother’s wrongful conviction is helping to bring out into the light of truth.

  15. In my fairly extensive experience in government, if you are searching for the reason for something and are confronted with a choice between incompetence, corruption, and conspiracy, always choose incompetence or, more simply sloth. You have to be both smart and energetic to engage in corruption or conspiracy. Incompetence or sloth takes no effort at all.

    • With a fairly extensive amount of experience in government now too, I would submit all three certainly apply when it comes to the ongoing merit system employment violations of senior level managers at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. I don’t know Mr. Ignell, but my experience with the Department of Law and its staff, even under Mr. Taylor’s leadership, gives his concern serious legitimacy. Governor Dunleavy would be wise to pay attention to these types of concerns. My recent experience with Mr. Taylor’s leadership in that department is cringeworthy for what he just allowed to happen concerning the employment violations at the airport. It makes the Governor look very bad. No shame in letting another AG go Governor Dunleavy. What he just did to the airport is more than enough reason.

      • Eric: It sounds like it may be necessary for a grand jury to investigate your concerns about 1) these employment violations at the ANC airport, and 2) the DOL’s blessing of these violations. It would also be helpful for someone knowledgeable about the facts to write an article to inform MRAK readers and gain public support for a grand jury investigation.

    • Art, you were around in 1985. Do you recall how the Juneau Grand Jury investigated Governor Bill Sheffield and his administration and found a lot more than incompetence? They were appalled at the corruption they found and recommended his impeachment. Former Watergate prosecutor Sam Dash who represented the Senate in the impeachment proceedings agreed with the grand jury saying,

      “There is ample evidence in the Grand Jury testimony that the Governor’s office tampered with the lawful procurement procedures of the Department of Administration with the knowledge of the Governor to promote a political and financial supporter. Such activity undermines the confidence of the public in government and raises serious ethical questions…”

      Chapters 9 and 10 of my book on the Alaska Grand Jury are devoted to that dark time in Alaska’s history. The Supreme Court reacted by trying to put the Grand Jury under their thumb. Today, Alaskans trying to exercise their grand jury rights are being double-teamed by the courts and the Attorney General. This is one of the reasons Taylor needs to resign.

    • Art, “going with the flow,” “towing the party line,” “going along to get along,” or “don’t upset the applecart” are all euphemisms for assuming the role of a deep government, nonresponsive, nonproductive bureaucrat. It is simply easier for the overpaid, non-fireable drones to lazily ignore what charter documents require of them; that is, to properly serve their masters–the taxpaying public. In this context rife with incompetence by omission, the system functions precisely like a conspiracy. They are all in on it; its just a matter of to what degree.

  16. I can not believe the comments attacking Ignell here. Most of you are completely ignoring his very important point. Is there an innocent man rotting in jail for a crime he did not commit?!
    Ask folks who are on the Kenai peninsula if there judicial system is completely corrupt. That is the exact reason after years of trying to get information off these crimes in front of our GJ, we finally succeeded in Aug and the jury is still on it. The judicial system is so scared that the Ak Supreme Court met quickly in Nov and on Dec 1st completely rewrote criminal law rule 6 and 6.1. Gutting the Grand Jury’s constitutional and legal right to do there sworn oath and duty under current law. Coincidence, I think not! Corrupt right up to our Supreme Court justices? Yep!!

    • It would appear that the problem may be with the Supreme court. This goes back to the issue that only certain judges are selected for the Supreme Court vacancies and none of them are conservative, or from the Bush. Governor Dunleavy found out that he cannot ask for more to be added to the list in his first term, as it was one of the reasons he was nearly impeached. So the real problem appears to be the Judicial Council and its control of the process. Unless the State Constitution is amended, Alaska is stuck with this. And the corruption will continue until this factor is addressed.

  17. Art makes an interesting comment above regarding sloth and incompetence as a more likely cause for what appears to be corruption. I believe that he is onto something. I would lay the sloth and incompetence charge upon the electorate. We have allowed a group of Democrats to select our Judiciary for far too long. Imagine the feathers that would fly in the Hen House if Jerry Prevo controlled the council selecting our Judiciary?

    • Oosik: Very well said. There is simply no place for politics in the judiciary. Below is an excerpt from my previous article on MRAK. We must blame ourselves if we don’t push our elected legislators for a Constitutional Amendment in the next legislative session:

      The American College of Trial Lawyers puts it like this: “The concept of judicial independence, that judges should decide cases, faithful to the law, without ‘fear or favor’ and free from political or external pressures, remains one of the fundamental cornerstones of our political and legal systems, both federal and state.”

      The fact we have a cartel controlled by the Democrat Party running our judiciary should offend every Alaskan who believes in democracy.

      Every legislator associated with the Democrat Party should be thoroughly embarrassed. They should make it their top priority to cooperate with their Republican and Independent colleagues to rid ourselves of this partisan judiciary holding themselves above our Constitution.

        • Tiffany: I was on the fence about the ConCon until attending a presentation on 9/20/22 in Juneau by Bruce Botelho, chair of Defend Our Constitution. When Botelho invited questions from the audience I led by asking if there’s no ConCon, what do we do about our judges that don’t follow the Constitution? His response and seeing how the Juneau Empire avoided our exchange in their ensuing report, turned me into a strong advocate for a Yes vote.

          My advocacy included a guest appearance on the Bob Bird show, sending two letters to the Board of the Alaska Municipal League regarding their prior endorsement of DOC, and writing an opinion that Suzanne published in MRAK on 10/25 which you can read here: https://mustreadalaska.com/david-ignell-support-justice-and-vote-yes-for-a-constitutional-convention-to-restore-justice-in-alaska/.

    • Oosik Schenker (Bob), I’ve heard the idiom “don’t blame conspiracy when incompetence will fit the bill” applied to government corruption several times before. Even if it were true, whether its incompetence or conspiracy is irrelevant because the results are identical. In any event, see my comment above as to why it truly is conspiracy. The bureaucracy breeds incompetence. The breeding starts at the top… which definitionally means it is a conspiracy. However, the conspiracy relies upon the inherent sloth, laziness and incompetence of the bureaucracy… thereby giving said conspiracy the appearance of widespread incompetence. How can a system that stacks the supreme court with leftists not be a conspiracy?

      • Wayne Douglas Coogan, I am not sure you fully comprehend what my friend Oosik Puk was saying. Mr. Puk was laying the blame at the feet of the electorate, those who empower misdeeds in Government, whether by design or because of their collective Sloth the electorate allows this.

  18. Shelia,
    Thank you for your thoughtful comments on this issue. Since David was not involved in this case when Bill Walker was in office, although it may have just been brought to his attention by the end of his term. I can report to you on the family and Thomas’ efforts to “pursue” this case for justice. My brother from the beginning, continues pursuing all his legal avenues to challenge his wrongful conviction. The first trial ended in a hung jury, despite 2 witnesses in front of jury not of his peers testified the “victim” told them the allegations were not true. The case was tried again. At that time our parents had spent the funds from a second mortgage and were not able to help pay our private attorney. I attempted to retain her by writing a check for $30,000. All my family’s saving. This was not enough to retain her for the second trial. Thomas was forced to accept a court appointed lawyer who was forced to go to trail unprepared. Where he was judged by a jury not of his peers and found guilty. Thomas is not the only person who has suffered in this unjust situation. Of officials who attempted to support my brother, lost their elected office or were threaten simply by showing public support. I can assure you and the public, our motives are NOT AND WILL NEVER be apart of any witch hunt or “ambush” toward Dunleavy. Our motives are focused on bring attention to all Alaskans and those who hold power to do the right thing and free my brother. No more no less. However, I can understand public suspicion regarding motivation due to the politics. I’m praying everyone who learns about this case will put aside politics and demand those in power no matter political party to do the right thing. The one thing that cannot be denied. If you do not have money or powerful friends, no one pays attention. Before David and after David got involved, attempt to “pursue” justice for Thomas were met with the same response from all officials, Thomas had his “due process”. I can tell, that due process is NOT the same as justice and equality. That has been my family’s experience since Thomas was taken away from us.
    We have entered into another Holiday season, where my family will once again wake up Christmas morning missing my brother. He will wake up in a jail cell. The daily reality of my brother being in prison, where he does not belong is all the motivation that we need to pursue this case. Not politics. Not to destroy any office holder. We only want my brother home and to bring attention to Alaska’s broken justice system. Implying other motives to our family’s efforts, which includes David, is insulting and untrue.
    Constructive direction and or guidance on what else we can do to free my brother is welcome.
    I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support of David’s tireless efforts to Free TomTom.
    If there is not justice for all, there is no justice.

    • Well said Ms. DeBlois. Chief Justice Joel H. Bolger, Justices Daniel Winfree, Maassen and Carney signed off on a letter a couple years ago to “Fellow Alaskans” last paragraph “We commit ourselves and the court system to seek always to ensure equal just under the law. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so eloquently stated long ago, “Injustices anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”” ALASKA needs judicial reform. I voted for an Alaska Constitutional Convention because Alaska Natives needed to have a strong delegate representation than what we had in 1955. William Hensely, Alaska Native “…we were not truly participating with only one out of fifty-five delegates…” Improvements are seriously needed within the Alaska judicial system to ensure equitable and fair treatment for all people in Alaska. Senator Shower introduced SB 14 1/21/21 Sponsor Statement, SELECTION AND REVIEW OF JUDGES. The bill died in Finance but I hope he reintroduces it this year. Alaska Statute Chapter 30. What happens to a judge that violates an Alaska Statute? An Alaska Constitutional Convention would have protected our PFD payments. I wonder if we will get a full PFD in 2023? Will Alaskans have to start paying a state income tax in 2023 or 2024? Stay strong and courageous Ms. DeBlois and keep speaking up for truth and justice for all Alaskans. Thank you Mr. Ignell for your article.

  19. David, your idea seems righteous, but its presentation is ruinously verbose.
    .
    Two, maybe two and a half pages should be enough to identify the problem and to recommend constructive options.
    .
    Your arguments should be constructed to persuade a busy governor and chief of staff who negotiate their own political minefields that: (a) the AG’s office has a potentially show-stopping problem, (b) you’re not asking the guv to toss the AG just because you’re mad at him
    .
    … none of which matters if this exercise is just a publicity stunt.
    .
    Alaska Bar Association vs. David… that’s a fight card worth watching. Remember back in the day another bunch of Philistines took on a David… didn’t end well for them either. Moral of that story is if your enemy’s good with clubs, you might wanna pick some other means of sending your message, no?

    • Morrigan: The “presentation” you reference must be my letter to the Governor as my MRAK article is just over a page. The Governor and his army of highly paid lawyers can easily absorb a 5 page letter. Its length is necessary to detail the evidence of Taylor’s violation of multiple ethical regulations AND his failure to respond.

      I’m not mad at Taylor, but am extremely frustrated after 3+ years of trying to bring documented injustice to the attention of Dunleavy, Taylor, Clarkson, Miovas, Skidmore, Kemp, et. al., and being repeatedly turned away. If any AG or prosecutor refuses to acknowledge and follow their ethical obligations, they have no business being in their positions.

      Dunleavy ultimately bears responsibility for employing lawyers that ignore their ethical responsibilities. Many of my communications to Dunleavy have gone through his last 3 chiefs of staff. Other attempts were made through John Moller, who knows my older brother well. I thought there might be a really good chance with Gallagher, because my oldest daughter actually hired him during the Parnell administration. I went to high school with Dunleavy’s scheduler and her husband, so believe me, I’ve tried many different approaches.

      I invite you to ask Dunleavy, Taylor and Gallagher why they’re ignoring my message and why Taylor is putting up roadblocks to grand jury investigations?

      And yes, my mother named me after that David. She met my father in Bible College and I have vivid memories of her studying the Word and praying to God daily.

      • Bless your heart, you made our point for us.
        .
        Try this: Youre a guest, first up, on Laura Ingraham’s nightly show. She’s introduced you. Camera on you. You’ve two minutes to make yourself interesting to a national audience, some of whom may even be persuaded to help, none of whom care about your school life.
        .
        So you say… what, exactly?

  20. Sheila, the Summary of Mr. Jack’s wrongful conviction on my website should answer many of your questions. Shortly after writing the Summary, someone who knew Mr. Jack extremely well told me that politics were to blame. My subsequent investigation supported this theory. I believe a variety of political motivations were 100% responsible for the executive and judicial branches teaming up to railroad an innocent man into a 50 year prison sentence. Like Yvette has said, “they did it because they could”.

    One of the troubling facts is that the State officials primarily responsible for several Constitutional violations were promoted. A key figure was recently promoted again to a high position in Dunleavy’s administration. This is an ongoing problem as disclosed in a current case that was brought to my attention in the last two weeks.

    The judiciary is supposed to act as the final backstop for our Constitutional rights, and in Mr. Jack’s case they failed miserably. So yes, the Democrat Cartel is also culpable but that doesn’t excuse what has happened on the executive side during Republican administrations, including Dunleavy’s. Since writing the Summary, what has become more and more troubling to me is evidence of the lack of separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary branches on certain issues, including grand jury investigations.

    You say 2019 was a bad time for Dunleavy to address these issues. What about 2020, 2021, and 2022 then? Conversely, were those convenient years for an innocent victim of State misconduct to continue rotting away in jail? What if this was your son or brother? Should Dunleavy’s oath to uphold the Constitutional apply only when its politically expedient for him?

    I’ve called for Taylor’s resignation, not Dunleavy’s, unless of course the latter continues to show he doesn’t care about his oath either.

    I’m certainly open to volunteering more of my time to draft an initiative but I have no use for any political allies who ignore the Constitution and their ethical obligations. If Dunleavy can prove to me his commitment to Justice and the Constitution, and if he requires his lawyers to follow their ethical responsibilities, then I’ll work to support him.

  21. I like to thank David for bringing up something that should be on everyone’s mind, ethical responsibilities, and others should have been brought up, ownership of one’s self-actions! Oh, that means accountability. What’s that? Something that the current judicial system has no clue about their actions. All this is just the tip of the Iceberg that will be tipping over soon. I am not even close to standing toe to toe with you all in a courtroom, but in a common-sense situation, I’m okay. Courtrooms should not be about Democrats, Republicans, or how many wins you have or need to advance; it should be about what is right or wrong, plain and simple, case closed.
    Keep in Mind: You can run, but you can’t hide. No matter what you do, you can’t escape the consequences you try to avoid that you created or can make a real difference. Time is the ultimate deciding factor. What you think you can get away with will always be there, tapping you on your shoulder. When Right surfaces, then the embarrassment comes out, not only to you but to your family and friends. Not worth the effort of avoiding and hiding; do the right thing from the start and avoid the headaches.
    However, that is too simple to follow, and there is too much worth in wins. Just remember, when you win, you may lose. So follow the simple pathway (Right or Wrong). You can’t go wrong.
    Sticking to the basics, in the long run, will save time and money instead of throwing up smoke screens for self-gratification instead of Right. Remember, you are dealing with people’s lives.

  22. The Attorney General is a fine upstanding man. David take your rank leftism back to California. Why don’t you head to San Fransisco and get Paul Pelosi’s hammer incident details released. Yeah you won’t, you are a leftist tool.

    • Leftist? Apparently I am too. Most call me far right. Perhaps Ignell and I have common ground called justice. Without it it is Just-us.

    • Kevin, sounds like you’re a personal acquaintance of Taylor. Next time you see him, ask him why he’s violating his ethical duties regarding grand jury investigations, an unfair/perverse trial, and the conviction of an innocent person. While you’re at it, ask him why he and his department is working in conjunction with the Democrat controlled judiciary to suppress investigations into the Alaska Judicial Council, the Alaska Supreme Court, and the Commission on Judicial Conduct.

  23. Thank You David Ignell for all your hard work. Few care about corruption unless they have been effected.

    To others:
    There are 4 branches of government. Executive, legislative, judicial and the people. The judicial is the weakest because it has no direct enforcement mechanism.

    The founders put on notice for all future generations our right of self defense through the Second Amendment.

    The founders of Alaska’s constitution codified a peaceful response for the people, the grand Jury.

    Most like me are/were ignorant. My ignorance changed in 2018. I was on a Grand Jury in January that year. The judge directed us to the Grand Jury Handbook. I studied it throughly. It became clear of my right and responsibility. I attempted to bring evidence to my grand jury. I was stopped by employees of the executive and judicial branches of government. Legislative branch cares little. However the Kenai Peninsula Borough passed a resolution supporting the independence of grand juries January 18, 2022. Introduced by our new State Senator Jesse Bjorkman.

    I would encourage all caring individuals to do two things to learn as I did in the past and currently.

    1. Observe the court by just sitting as a court watcher. I saw the dysfunction and corruption in 2014-15. In particular the courts speedy trial rule.

    2. Read or listen to David Ingell’s free book. He documents our power of a peaceful revolution through the grand jury.

    Sent from my iPhone

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