One legislator calls out Kenai Kabuki1 Court!
Kenai Superior Court Judge, Jennifer K. Wells doesn’t believe the Alaska Constitution means what it says. Her boss, formerly of Kenai but now Presiding Judge of the Third Judicial District, William F. Morse, doesn’t either. Gov. Michael Dunleavy’s (Deputy) Attorney General John Skidmore has already made it very clear that the Alaska Court System will interpret the constitution any damn way they want to, and there will be consequences to citizens (in which all political power resides under the Alaska Constitution) who might think Alaska Grand Juries are more than just a show for the Lords at Court.
That’s what we know now after events at the Kenai Courthouse Wednesday, June 29, when Judge Wells put down the hammer and drove away from the crime in her canary-colored corvette. She was appointed to this position five years ago, July 27, 2017, by Democrat Gov. Bill Walker.
It is appropriate over this 4th of July, 2022 weekend that Alaskans review the status of our liberties under the United States and Alaska Constitutions in light of these events in Kenai.
Future citizens being notified of their obligation to serve on an Alaska Grand Jury should know the application of their duties will be subject to the whims of unaccountable judges and a bureaucracy run amok. The Alaska Department of Law apparently wants Grand Juries to indict persons accused of capital offenses but forbids looking at whether corruption can be happening in State government– or at the Alaska Court System itself.
Gov. Michael Dunleavy is an enabler in this Kubuki Dance.2
On June 29, 2022, a majority of Kenai Grand Jurors voted to hear evidence presented by David Haeg, but were immediately obstructed by Judge Wells. This is nothing new; once again the People of Alaska were thwarted from doing their duty by the “bosses” at the Alaska Court System. ((Affidavit of Shane Serrano))
This Wednesday was the last day of the current 12-member Grand Jury, scheduled to meet at 9 am every Wednesday for the last three months. Now five Grand Juries have been denied the opportunity to hear this evidence and investigate it. The fact protesters were again planning to be at the Kenai Courthouse apparently caused panic at the Temple of Justice. Citizens, led by Haeg, wished to make a presentation to the Grand Jury.
Makes you wonder why Judge Wells would not allow that, doesn’t it? Instead, she dismissed the grand jury permanently.
A Constitutional Crisis
This appears to be a clear constitutional violation and a felony under Alaska law.
Alaska Constitution, Article 1, Section 8 The power of grand juries to investigate and make recommendations concerning the public welfare or safety shall never be suspended.
AS 12.40.030 Duty of inquiry into crimes and general powers. The grand jury shall inquire into all crimes committed or triable within the jurisdiction of the court and present them to the court. The grand jury shall have the power to investigate and make recommendations concerning the public welfare or safety.
AS 12.40.040 Juror to disclose knowledge of crime. If an individual grand juror knows or has reason to believe that a crime has been committed that is triable by the court, the juror shall disclose it to the other jurors, who shall investigate it.
AS 11.56.590. Jury Tampering. (a) A person commits the crime of jury tampering if the person directly or indirectly communicates with a juror other than as permitted by the rules governing the official proceeding with intent to (1) influence the juror’s vote, opinion, decision, or other action as a juror; or (2) otherwise affect the outcome of the official proceeding. (b)Jury tampering is a class C felony
What are they Afraid of?
The only investigator of judicial conduct for the last 33 years and counting is a woman named Marla Greenstein, Executive Director of the Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct (ACJC). She has conducted and decided all approximately 8000 judge complaints in Alaska since 1989.3
When Greenstein began in this role, Steve Cowper was a one-term Democrat governor who, upon taking office saw the price of oil drop to $32/barrel. He then declared that regardless of what had been promised in the election, now “all bets were off.”
Today all bets are off for Alaska Court System accountability!
The oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound on March 24, 1989. That’s how long the ACJCl has been protecting judges. We all know stories of Alaska judges standing like musk oxen in a circle with their butts touching.
On this occasion Haeg took his request right up to the public court service window. Again, same run-around:
Maybe what we need is a grand jury investigation into judge investigator Greenstein, said Haeg as he was sitting in the court building waiting for the opportunity to present evidence to the Grand Jury. You know she would never be convicted because 100 judges would be willing to say it’s a mistake to even suggest something has ever been amiss in all those years. But as soon as that indictment came out, people would say: “you know, maybe she shouldn’t be our only judge investigating judges; maybe we could scrape the bottom of the barrel and get somebody a little better—perhaps even have more than just one.”
Such suggestions are blasphemy in the Temple of Justice.
Yet what Haeg was prevented from giving the Grand Jury was direct evidence that judge investigator Greenstein is falsifying official investigations to cover up for corrupt judges. Could she be doing this so they can remain on the bench ruling over We-the People?
(Highlighted Greenstein Evidence @ www.alaskagrandjuryrights.com)
Let’s Look at what the Alaska Constitution says
According to Constitutional authority, Gorden Harrison Alaska’s founding fathers chose to insert a Grand Jury option into the Alaska Constitution although it is not required under federal law and only about one-half of the states have this provision for bringing capital offenses before the court OR to allow citizens to bring issues to the Grand Jury for investigation of whether criminal activity by public officials has occurred. Obviously, the lawyers who are appointed by elected governors to enter the rarefied air of judge think they know better whether wrongdoing has occurred among their own ranks.4
In fact, one might argue that a Grand Jury not taking its responsibilities seriously actually enables crime and corruption as occurred in the case of Gov. William Sheffield when the Grand Jury refused to indict for the crime and tossed the ball to the Alaska Senate–which promptly fumbled it on the one-yard line.
Challenge for the new Kenai Grand Jury: Ben Carpenter
The pool of citizens on the Kenai Peninsula who recognize their local court system denies Constitutional authority to the Grand Jury is increasing. Legal counsel for the Kenai Peninsula Borough researched the history of public interest grand juries that changed beginning in the early 1990s. Denial of this authority has created a groundswell of support for Haeg and is making the petty bureaucrats and weak-kneed judges look foolish. One area legislator is now onboard and pursuing justice.
Rep. Ben Carpenter has investigated this situation and written to the Department of Law, saying that denial of public access to the grand jury violates our Constitution. In a letter to Angie Kemp, Director of DOL’s Criminal Division, Rep. Carpenter asks: “I want to know if a private citizen can present information about a suspected crime to a grand jury?”
In typical bureaucratic fashion Director Kemp provides lengthy documentation of what Rule 6 describes the Grand Jury process to be.
Rep. Carpenter concluded (in part):
“It is vitally important to the rule of law in Alaska that the Department of Law acknowledge the statutory authority for grand juries to investigate crime and sever any perceived supervisory relationships that may exist between prosecuting attorneys and the investigatory grand jury.”
He continues by using the mechanism to show change in a legislative bill to demonstrate the inconsistency of the State’s position:
I believe I have answered my question with the only answer that exists within statute or criminal law: The grand jury must be afforded the opportunity by our bureaucratic process to receive complaints of criminal wrongdoing by individual citizens, wrote Carpenter. If prosecuting attorneys or presiding judges believe they can be the gate keepers of the grand jury, then “the power of grand juries to investigate and make recommendations concerning the public welfare or safety is being [SHALL NEVER BE] suspended.”
-Art. 1 Sec. 8 Alaska State Constitution.
It’s time for candidates for public office to tell voters how they stand on the authority of the Alaska Grand Jury to investigate possible criminal activity in government and particularly in the Alaska Court System itself.
Related Reading on:
- Kabuki is a form of classical theater in Japan known for its elaborate costumes and dynamic acting. The phrases Kabuki theater, kabuki dance, or kabuki play are sometimes used in political discourse to describe an event characterized more by showmanship than by content.
- Alaska Grand Jury Rights webpage, Governor Grand Jury email tab.
- Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct Brochure
- Alaska Constitution a Citizen’s Guide, Gordon Harrison, Alaska Legislative Affairs Agency, P 21-22