- Associated Press - Friday, January 8, 2016

SITKA, Alaska (AP) - Sitka’s assistant district attorney position will stay in the city following an announcement that the position to replace Jean Seaton, who is retiring, has been filled.

Officials were notified Wednesday that Juneau’s municipal attorney, Chris Orman, has been hired to take over for Seaton, The Sitka Sentinel reported (https://bit.ly/1Rx95eB).

“In the era of phenomenal budget challenges to the state government, I think it’s wonderful the state found a way to keep an attorney on the ground in Sitka,” said District Attorney James Scott, who is based in Juneau. “When we can keep a prosecutor in a community, it helps us get our job done.”

The news comes after the State Department of Law notified the city it was considering moving the position to Juneau, with the prosecutor traveling to Sitka, Wrangell and Angoon when necessary. In response, the Sitka Assembly passed a resolution in December in support of keeping the position in the city, citing concerns about fair access to the justice system.

Seaton, who has been Sitka’s assistant district attorney since 2009, retires Friday. Her duties will be covered from Juneau until Orman makes the move to Sitka, possibly as soon as March, said Scott.

Sitka Police Chief Sheldon Schmitt said keeping the assistant district attorney position in the city will be good for the police department.

“It’s important for the relationship between the officers and the district attorney,” he said. “They have to talk on cases all the time, and to have someone they know that can be easily accessible makes a difference.”

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Information from: Daily Sitka (Alaska) Sentinel, https://www.sitkasentinel.com/


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