Press Release

Alaska Department of Law Criminal Division Announces Honors

November 12, 2013

(Anchorage, Alaska) - The Department of Law recently presented several Criminal Division employees with awards for their service to the State of Alaska. Attorney General Michael Geraghty presented the awards at a conference of all state prosecutors and victim/witness paralegals. These awards are to acknowledge some of the attorneys and paralegals who have helped to further the mission of the Department of Law in maintaining safe communities, supporting victims and witnesses of crime and holding offenders accountable.

The Prosecutor of the Year Award is given to an attorney who provides an exemplary model for others. The 2013 deserving recipient of this recognition is Assistant District Attorney Jean Seaton from the Sitka District Attorney Office. As the sole attorney in her office, Ms. Seaton provides capable team leadership and strong working relationships with law enforcement and defense attorneys. Her skill in working with others has resulted in the best possible outcomes for all concerned. This year Ms. Seaton handled high profile sexual abuse of a minor and domestic violence assault cases; often juggling back to back trials. Her competent professionalism has earned her universal respect.

The only Victim Witness Paralegal in the Nome District Attorney Office, Maureen Koezuna, was named Paralegal of the Year. Ms. Koezuna consistently keeps her office in good standing with members of the Bering Straits community and state agencies. With an ever ready sense of humor she manages volumes of evidence, keeps the office wheels turning and can track down witnesses with impressive skill.

A Team Award was presented to the Medicaid Fraud Unit, located in the Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals in Anchorage. This unit has seen an increase in cases prosecuted this year by an astounding 1,500%. Through efficient teamwork and collaboration with other state and federal agencies, this unit expects to recover over one million dollars in restitution to the state by the end of the year. The members of this outstanding team are: Assistant Attorney General Andrew Peterson, Internal Auditor Carrie Stickland, Investigators Mark Payne, Katie Paakki, Lowell Webb, Lance Anderson, Kandi Stewart and Margo Mandel and Law Office Assistant Avis Marbury.

Victim Witness Paralegal Ashley Carter, from the Anchorage District Attorney Office, received the Model of Excellence Award for her work on sexual assault cases. Ms. Carter has modeled how an effective paralegal can attend to organizing the details of a complex trial while working with victims and witnesses to explain the legal process, gain trust and build confidence. Her balance of professionalism and genuine emotional connection with victims and families has been pivotal to the success of many an emotionally charged case.

Two attorneys received the Making a Difference Award for efforts that have positively impacted their communities. Assistant District Attorney Amy Williams, from the Juneau District Attorney Office, received this award for addressing the need for more trained health professionals to respond to victims of sexual assault. Ms. Williams was able to secure grant funding for the recruitment and training of ten new certified sexual assault nurse examiners. This significant increase in services will insure that crucial evidence is obtained to support the successful prosecution of sexual assault crimes.

Thomas Aliberti, an Assistant District Attorney in the Bethel District Attorney Office, was also awarded the Making A Difference honor. Mr. Aliberti has brought a high level of collaboration and caring to his work in the upper Yukon River villages, where he is well known. By building solid and respectful relationships with members of law enforcement, victims and citizens, he has shown how one person can create an atmosphere of excellence that raises the quality of criminal prosecution in an entire region.

The Department of Law Criminal Division congratulates all of its 2013 award recipients. Members of the public who are interested in more information about the Department of Law are encouraged to visit our website at www.law.alaska.gov.

Attached are photographs of the honorees, along with a description below of who is in the photograph from left to right:

Attorney General Mike Geraghty, Prosecutor of the Year Jean Seaton, Deputy Attorney General Rick Svobodny

Attorney General Mike Geraghty, Prosecutor of the Year Jean Seaton, Deputy Attorney General Rick Svobodny

Attorney General  Mike Geraghty, Paralegal of the Year Maureen Koezuna, Deputy Attorney General  Rick Svobodny

Attorney General Mike Geraghty, Paralegal of the Year Maureen Koezuna, Deputy Attorney General Rick Svobodny

Attorney General  Mike Geraghty, Assistant Attorney General Andrew Peterson, Deputy Attorney  General Rick Svobodny

Attorney General Mike Geraghty, Assistant Attorney General Andrew Peterson, Deputy Attorney General Rick Svobodny

Attorney General  Mike Geraghty shaking hands with Assistant Attorney General Andrew Peterson.  Deputy Attorney General Rick Svobodny in background.

Attorney General Mike Geraghty shaking hands with Assistant Attorney General Andrew Peterson. Deputy Attorney General Rick Svobodny in background.

Assistant  District Attorney Amy Williams

Assistant District Attorney Amy Williams

Attorney General Mike Geraghty, Assistant District  Attorney Thomas Aliberti, Deputy Attorney General Rick Svobodny

Attorney General Mike Geraghty, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Aliberti, Deputy Attorney General Rick Svobodny

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