The state commission that nominates Alaska judges has announced two finalists to replace a Ketchikan judge who’s been on the bench for more than a dozen years. A Fairbanks-based federal prosecutor and Ketchikan’s magistrate judge are the two names that have been submitted to Gov. Mike Dunleavy, who’s expected to pick one of the two by mid-March.
The Alaska Judicial Council announced last week that it had short-listed Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Doty and Magistrate Judge Amanda Schulz to replace retiring Ketchikan Superior Court Judge William Carey.
Schulz has lived in Alaska for just over 20 years and has practiced law for nearly as long, according to the Judicial Council. She’s an alumna of the University of Idaho College of Law. Doty has lived in Alaska for nearly 15 years and graduated from the William and Mary Law School in 2013.
The Judicial Council met Jan. 31 in Ketchikan to hear public input and interview the three candidates who had applied to replace Carey. The longtime judge is expected to step down at the end of this month.
The council’s announcement noted that the panel also conducted an extensive background investigation into the candidates. The nonpartisan commission is made up of three attorneys, three non-attorneys and the chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court. The Judicial Council forwards nominees to the governor’s office for a final decision.
Ketchikan Assistant District Attorney Kristian Pickrell was the lone applicant passed over by the council. But he’ll have another shot at a seat on the Superior Court soon — he’s in the running to replace Trevor Stephens, who’s expected to step down at the end of May.
Ketchikan Superior Court judges are in charge of a regional judicial district that includes Ketchikan, Prince of Wales Island, Metlakatla, Wrangell and Petersburg.