Juneau D.A. Angie Kemp named new director of State Criminal Division - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, January 16, 2022
HomePoliticsJuneau D.A. Angie Kemp named new director of State Criminal Division

Juneau D.A. Angie Kemp named new director of State Criminal Division

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Juneau District Attorney Angie Kemp has been named as director of the Alaska Department of Law’s Criminal Division, Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor announced today.

Kemp is a Juneau native and career prosecutor who has been district attorney in Juneau since 2017. She takes over for Jack McKenna as Criminal Division Director. McKenna, of Anchorage, was recently appointed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy as a judge in the Anchorage Superior Court.

“As a DA, Angie has demonstrated her commitment to justice and fairness, and she has made a name for herself as one of the best prosecutors in the state,” said Deputy Attorney General John Skidmore. “In her new role as Criminal Division Director, she will oversee DA’s offices across Alaska with the same high level of professionalism and knowledge that Jack brought to the job.”

Kemp is a third-generation Alaskan who attended Juneau-Douglas High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Arizona State University and studied law at Seattle University. While she was a law student, she was an intern in the Juneau DA’s office and she went to work for that office as an assistant DA in 2008.

The Juneau DA’s office serves 10 communities in the southeast Alaska. Kemp has successfully prosecuted several challenging or high-profile cases within the region.

Kemp was named district attorney at age 35, becoming one of the youngest DA’s ever appointed by the Department.

“It’s been a privilege to work as DA and serve my community,” Kemp said. “I’m looking forward to serving the state of Alaska in this new role. The objectives of our office have always been to seek justice and treat everyone fairly, and I’m eager to join Attorney General Taylor and Deputy Attorney General John Skidmore as we continue to carry out those goals.”

Kemp will be based in Juneau. She will take over for McKenna on Jan. 24.

McKenna joined the Department of Law in September 2009, where he worked prosecuting sex crimes for several years before moving to private practice at the Anchorage law firm of Birch, Horton, Bittner and Cherot. He returned to the Department in September 2019 to head up the Criminal Division’s Office of Special Prosecutions, and he was named Criminal Division Director last January.

“Jack’s calm and professional demeanor, as well as his knowledge of the law, served him well as a prosecutor and will make him an excellent judge,” Attorney General Taylor said.

The Department of Law is currently in the process of recruiting for the Juneau DA vacancy.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • I remember her as an admirable crimson bear ball player since high school. She seemed kind, honest, and fair from a distance. If what she portrayed is true about her then I share in the joy congratulating her on a well deserved promotion. But then again, during this time of JDHS girls, when Kemp played, these basketball players they were all remarkable teen girls of the school from what I saw.

  • Good deal. Working as a public servant is sometimes a thankless profession. I’m always thrilled to see someone who practices the rule of law get ahead.

  • I served on a jury for a felony that Kemp prosecuted. We sent that low-life to jail, largely because of the solid, verifiable facts that Kemp pulled together. My opinion may be skewed because of that single experience, but this news nevertheless makes me feel good.

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