Judicial Council Makes Recommendations for Retention

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

On Tuesday, the Judicial Council recommended voters keep 27 judicial appointments on the bench when they stand for retention this fall. However, the council also recommended against retention of one judge – Anchorage District Court Judge Richard Postma. He is also the subject of a probable cause complaint from another, separate agency – the Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct. That complaint will be resolved by the Conduct Commission in a hearing in early December, after the election.

The Judicial Council’s executive director Larry Cohn says the recommendation of non-retention is not connected to the conduct complaint. He says it is the result of a complete investigation.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Judicial Council explained its review and the results of a hearing with Judge Postma. They found he “has experienced persistent difficulty in coping with the Anchorage District Court caseload and stressful situations. Judge Postma has lacked patience, dignity and courtesy in his communications which has contributed to constant friction between Judge Postma and other judges, court administrators and court staff. Judge Postma has a tendency to lose his temper.”

The Judicial Council has recommended judicial non-retention just three times in the last two decades.

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