Governor taps Juneau’s city attorney for judge seat

Juneau’s municipal attorney was one of Gov. Bill Walker’s three appointments to state superior courts announced Monday.

City Attorney Amy Mead, pictured on Sept. 16, 2015, was one of three judicial appointments announced Monday by the governor’s office. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Amy Mead has been the City and Borough of Juneau’s head attorney since 2013. Later this month she’ll be a judge presiding in Juneau Superior Court.

“I have felt very honored to be the city attorney,” Mead said Monday. “And I hope I have done a good job for the people of Juneau in this position and I hope to continue that as a superior court judge and I’m just really honored.”

In her career, Mead has been a state prosecutor in Ketchikan and worked on Medicaid issues for Alaska’s attorney general. She replaces Judge Louis Menendez who retired last week.

All eight applicants were surveyed. The findings were released in a technical report prepared by the Alaska Judicial Council.

The top three ranked were Julie Willoughby and Kevin Higgins – both in private practice – and Hanna Sebold, an assistant attorney general.

Mead ranked fourth in the overall survey of her colleagues in the Alaska Bar Association.

But the appointment was the governor’s call. Walker also appointed Thomas Temple to Fairbanks Superior Court and Lance Joanis to Kenai Superior Court.

“Alaska is lucky to have them, and I am grateful for their willingness to serve,” Walker said in a statement. His office didn’t respond to requests for further comment.

It’s unclear who will succeed Amy Mead as Juneau’s city attorney.

Mayor Ken Koelsch said Monday that there are some great fill-ins available within the city’s law department.

“We are excited for her and disappointed that we’re losing her,” Koelsch said. “But we know that she’ll be in town, and it’s a good move for her, too.”

Her replacement will be up to the Juneau Assembly when it meets later this month.

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