The first court appearance was Thursday for a man accused of Alaska Permanent Fund dividend fraud.
Kenneth Wilson Comfort II, 49, was indicted by a Juneau grand jury last month on charges of unsworn falsification and second degree attempted theft.
He called into court today from on-board a ship near Mobile, Alabama. Comfort said he’d be back in Coopers Landing, Alaska in early April. His arraignment will be continued on April 19.
Both of the charges are felonies and specifically focus on Comfort’s alleged untruthful disclosure of his absences on his 2011 PFD application. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $50,000 fine if convicted.
Comfort did not enter a plea on Thursday and he said that he planned to hire his own attorney in his case.
- Juneau Finance Director Bob Bartholomew projected Gov. Bill Walker’s veto of about half of dividend funds will cost the city.
- Only three votes now separate two northern Alaska House candidates. Dean Westlake of Kotzebue has 780 votes, ahead of 777 votes for incumbent Rep. Ben Nageak, who’s from Barrow.
- Bus passes, child-care assistance, work clothing and other resources to get low-income tribal members into jobs are being cut in seven Southeast Communities..
- The U.S. Northern Command and Coast Guard have launched a major field-training exercise off Alaska’s northwest coast. Arctic Chinook is intended to demonstrate how local, state and federal agencies would respond to a simulated cruise ship accident. Coincidentally, a big luxury cruise ship will sail through the area while the exercise is under way. And to further complicate things, bad weather has just set in.