- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 12, 2017

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Gov. Bill Walker’s pick to serve as Alaska’s attorney general on Wednesday asked legislators to consider her entire record in weighing her confirmation as the state’s top attorney.

Jahna Lindemuth appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she explained her decision to pursue settlement in a dispute over access along a road leading from Copper Center to Klutina Lake. Copper Center is about 100 miles (160.93 kilometers) northeast of Valdez.

The case was brought in 2008 by Ahtna Inc., which has said the road traverses undeveloped Ahtna land.

The Alaska Native regional corporation in 2016 scored a partial victory in superior court, when a judge found the state’s right-of-way claims to be too far-reaching.

Lindemuth said her goal is to preserve access, not to give it away. She said the public will be allowed to comment on any proposed settlement, and those comments will inform the state’s next steps in the case.

“If anyone does disagree with my judgment in this one particular case, I ask that I be judged on my entire record, not only the eight months that I’ve served as Alaska’s attorney general but in my whole career,” she said.

The Ahtna case is one case among hundreds that she’s been involved with as attorney general, she said. Lindemuth took over as attorney general when Craig Richards resigned last summer.

During public testimony, much of the opposition against Lindemuth focused on her decision to pursue settlement in the Ahtna case.

People who testified in support of Lindemuth, including former state Attorney General Michael Geraghty, praised her as skilled and highly qualified for the job.

Geraghty served under Republican Gov. Sean Parnell. He said there were cases tried and lost while he was attorney general that, in hindsight, he might have tried harder before trial to see if settlements were possible.

Legislators had been scheduled to consider whether to confirm Lindemuth and other appointees of Walker on Thursday. But the Senate voted to delay that.

Senate Majority Leader Peter Micciche said the delay will allow lawmakers to focus on completing work on key legislation. The Soldotna Republican said a joint legislative session to consider confirmations will be rescheduled.

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