Roland Maw trial looms in October - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, October 18, 2019
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Roland Maw trial looms in October

Eligible Alaskans expect to see their Permanent Fund dividends deposited in their bank accounts the first week of October.

The definition of “eligible Alaskans” are those who filed for their PFDs before March 30, and who were in Alaska for at least 180 days of 2018, who were not absent for more than 90 days at a stretch, and who meet other criteria.

One guy who didn’t meet the criteria, but who filed for PFDs for several years will be facing the biggest Permanent Fund dividend fraud and theft trial in Alaska history in late October.

Roland Maw, who was Gov. Bill Walker’s appointee to the Alaska Board of Fisheries, has a trial date set for Oct. 28 in Juneau Superior Court.

After months of status hearings, trial calls, and pretrial conferences, the criminal case against Maw starts anew on Oct. 2 with a pretrial conference and discovery hearing.

A second pre-trial conference will follow on Oct. 21, and then the jury trial starts, with Judge Amy Mead, a Walker appointee, presiding in Courtroom D.

Unless Maw’s lawyer is able to get another delay, that is.

Maw, the former executive director of the United Cook Inlet Drift Association, was supposed to stand trial in February, and again in May. But a series of motions made by his attorney hung up the trial.

As Walker’s Board of Fisheries nominee, Maw received a chilly reception from the Legislature. He was a nonstarter.

When Maw applied for the job of Commissioner of Fish and Game under Walker, he didn’t even get an interview for the job by the Joint Board of Fish and Game, which is the body that recommends to the governor a list of candidates for that job.

In 2016, Maw was charged with 12 felony counts of theft and unsworn falsification after prosecutors said he applied for and received Permanent Fund dividends while he was out of Alaska for over 90 consecutive days, for the years 2009 to 2014, without reporting those absences on his dividend application.

One of his defenses is that the PFD application is unclear as to whether the 90-day absence is consecutive or total number of days.

[Read Maw’s motion to dismiss here.]

His other defense angle appears to be that the courts have no evidence to show he was actually the one pushing the keys on the keyboard as travel reservations and Montana resident hunting and fishing licenses were purchased in his name. He has been convicted in Montana for purchasing in-state licenses when not a resident.

“Mr. Maw does not necessarily assert that he is not the person who made the statements or engaged in the conduct that is represented in every single exhibit,” his attorney Nicholas Polasky wrote in a court brief. “However, Mr Maw does not agree that he is the person who made the statements or engaged in the conduct in some of the exhibits.”

If he wasn’t a resident in Montana — and he pleaded no contest to the seven Montana charges pertaining to that residency assertion on his hunting and fishing licenses –and he wasn’t a resident by Alaska standards as it pertains to the Permanent Fund dividend, is Roland Maw a man without a state?

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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

  • My guess is the Alaska special prosecutor will treat Maw the same way they treated the world famous Texas natives known as the “Alaskan Bush People”….
    a slap on the wrist from Alaska for massive PFD fraud by every single one of them.

    Alaska can’t be setting any examples for others not to commit PFD fraud, now can we?

  • I am always amazed about how cheap and greedy many political operatives can be. I mean just the hunting / fishing license issue alone much less a PFD!

  • Maw also claimed to be a resident on his commercial fishing permits. He also claimed resident status on a contract he was awarded from the state department of fish and game for a test fishery in UCI and made some big bucks. The standard bar on residency may not be as high for these.

  • A person can clearly be a resident even though they do not qualify for the PFD. Thousand of retirees spend more that 180 days outside of Ak but have enough other objective criteria and an intent to make Ak their domicile to qualify as an Alaska “resident”. They vote in Ak, register their vehicles in Ak, get resident hunt and fish licenses in Ak, own a home in Ak, and do nothing inconsistent such as claiming to be a resident in another state. That is exactly what Maw did. He obtained resident hunt and fish licenses from Montana while claiming to be an Alaska resident. . And that is a resident killing action. Plus he was outside the State for more than 180 days without having excused absences. He lied on his pfd application. And he did this for many years. That kills your right to get the PFD and provides evidence to charge him with multiple felony counts. So he was neither a resident, and also even if a resident did not qualify for the PFD.

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