Board Chairman and Supreme Court upholding of reprimand.
I have heard from some asking why I said ethical issues with Board chairman Johnstone were well known. The Alaska Supreme Count finding below is part of my reason. In this case the court ruled he actually caused people harm if you read the whole finding which is online. I see similar traits in the present Board meeting and therefore have to question whether anyone can get a fair hearing given some of the statements made by the chairman. It is critical for the Board of Fish to have an objective and fair chairman.
Everyone has issues and I usually try to overlook character flaws and stick to the specific topic but in the present situation I think the character of a Board chairman is fair discussion given public policy is being decided. So I posted this so the public can make up their own assessment with further research.
The Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct recommended to
this court that former Superior Court Judge Karl Johnstone be
publicly reprimanded for creating an appearance of impropriety in
the hiring of Richard McVeigh as coroner for the Third Judicial
District of Alaska. We reject Judge Johnstone's contention that
the judge's retirement divested the commission of jurisdiction over
his disciplinary proceedings, and we agree with the commission that
Judge Johnstone's conduct created an appearance of impropriety. We
therefore accept the commission's recommendation to issue a public....
With respect to intent, Judge Johnstone's conduct was
negligent at best. The surrounding circumstances should reasonably
have alerted the judge that his actions would be perceived as
improper. And at worst, given that the judge was repeatedly
advised of the undesirable appearance that his actions would
create, his mental state could be classified as recklessness or
actual knowledge. [Fn. 42]
Even though we recognize -- and indeed emphasize -- that
we have found no actual impropriety on the part of Judge Johnstone,
we conclude that a public reprimand is appropriate in light of the
substantial harm caused by the appearance of impropriety that he
created and the compelling need to foster public confidence in our
judicial system's ability to protect against favoritism.
We AFFIRM the commission's jurisdictional ruling and its
finding that Judge Johnstone created an appearance of impropriety
in his appointment of Richard McVeigh. We also accept its
recommendation for discipline. Accordingly, Judge Johnstone will
be issued a public reprimand.