Governor Sean Parnell announced the appointment of Dwayne McConnell to the Bethel Superior Court. McConnell fills the second Superior Court vacancy this summer, that of retiring Judge Leonard Devaney.
McConnell’s legal experience includes service as a prosecutor in Bethel, starting in 1979. He also worked in Kodiak, Palmer, Anchorage, Juneau, and Kenai. He currently serves as an assistant attorney general in the Alaska Department of Law in Juneau. Previously, he served as the supervising attorney of the State’s Rural Prosecution Unit.
McConnell earned a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Missouri State University and a law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
In a written statement, Parnell said that McConnell’s experience, particularly in small communities across rural Alaska, has prepared him well for this assignment. He said, “Alaska’s court system, and the residents of the Yukon-Kuskokwim region, will be well-served by his legal skills.”
No word yet on when McConnell will start in Bethel. When he does, he will eventually be working along side another new Bethel Superior Court judge, Chuck Ray. Ray was hired in June to fill the late Marvin Hamilton’s seat, which was vacant for over a year. Ray has not yet moved to Bethel from Anchorage.
Bethel’s District Court judgeship is the only one that is still vacant. Bruce Ward began his job as magistrate in May.