Former Asst. Atty. General Convicted and Sentenced for Official Misconduct
October 21, 2015
On Wednesday, October 21, 2015, following a five day jury trial, former Assistant Attorney General Erin Pohland was sentenced for her conviction for official misconduct, a class A misdemeanor. Anchorage District Court Judge Jo-Ann Chung sentenced Pohland to a $5000 fine as well as a suspended jail sentence.
Pohland was convicted of official misconduct by an Anchorage jury on Tuesday, October 20, 2015. Pohland’s conviction stemmed from legal advice she provided to the Alaska Labor Relations Agency in June 2010.
The evidence at trial showed that in 2010, Pohland was the Assistant Attorney General responsible for advising the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. In April 2010, the Department of Labor became concerned about the interaction between the Alaska Labor Relations Agency, a state agency, and the Alaska State Employees Association, a union. Pohland was asked to provide advice to the State agency regarding concerns that the union filed documents believed to have been forged.
Pohland advised the Alaska Labor Relations Agency but did not reveal her relationship with Skye McRoberts to the agency. McRoberts was the primary organizer responsible for the union organization effort. The union ultimately prevailed in June 2010 in its efforts to force a union election for more than 2,500 employees of the University of Alaska. The election ultimately did not take place because a former employee of the union reported the forgeries to the Alaska State Troopers in August 2010.
Alaska State Trooper Investigator Andrea Jacobson led the forgery investigation, which led to the successful prosecution of Skye McRoberts for forgery in the second degree in 2013. McRoberts ultimately paid more than $34,000 in restitution to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the University of Alaska. The forgery investigation also led to the discovery of months of text messages between Pohland and McRoberts regarding the union’s efforts to organize University employees and Pohland’s efforts to assist the union while simultaneously advising the Alaska Labor Relations Agency. The text messages provided critical evidence in the State’s prosecution of Pohland.
Pohland faced a sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $10,000 for her conviction. Judge Chung explained that jail time was not warranted but believed the Pohland was convicted of a serious charge. Judge Chung determined that a suspended imposition of sentence was not warranted, which leaves Pohland with a permanent record for her conviction. Judge Chung explained that this case was about “public trust” of the Alaska Attorney General’s Office. Judge Chung placed Pohland on informal probation for three years and explained “I don’t know whether this would happen again.”
Pohland was previously convicted in September 2011 for misdemeanor concealment of merchandise related to a shoplifting incident on December 31, 2010 at an Anchorage Fred Meyer store. McRoberts was convicted of theft in the third degree for her role in the same incident.
CONTACT: District Attorney Clint Campion @ (907) 269-6300 or firstname.lastname@example.org at the Anchorage District Attorney’s Office.
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