- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska’s Democratic nominee for U.S. House last year has been hired to help overhaul Alaska’s code of military justice.

Alaska National Guard Adjutant General Col. Laurie Hummel has hired U.S. National Guard Lt. Forrest Dunbar to provide technical assistance for the overhaul of Alaska’s code of military justice.

Dunbar will leave the law firm Stoel Rives LLP to accept the assignment with the Guard, an Anchorage newspaper, the Alaska Dispatch News (https://bit.ly/1FXkhcG ), reported Wednesday.

A federal investigation last year detected failures within the Guard, including an outdated code of military justice within the state.

Guard members are subject to the Army’s Uniform Code of Military Justice when on federal duty. On state time, they are under state jurisdiction and prosecution is left to state authorities for serious crimes.

The Alaska code of military justice has been largely unchanged since it was enacted in 1955 and offers little criminal enforcement, a legislative research report concluded.

Dunbar will work on an update with soldiers, legislators and staff.

“Lt. Dunbar is a judge advocate officer with training in military law. He is also admitted to the Alaska Bar, and has experience in Juneau,” Hummel said by email. “This makes him a logical choice to provide technical assistance and input on behalf of the Alaska National Guard.”

Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, has introduced a 62-page version of proposed military justice reforms as Senate Bill 59.

“I think it’s a good move,” he said of Dunbar’s hiring. “(Dunbar has) a very impressive education background, he’s articulate and knows the issues well.

Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, and the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Anchorage, have introduced similar bills.

Dunbar received 41 percent of the vote in the November election and was defeated by incumbent U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska.

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Information from: Alaska Dispatch News, https://www.adn.com

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