In this file photo from Aug. 1, 2019, Monika Kunat, left, signs an application petition to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy with others at the Planet Alaska Gallery in downtown Juneau.                                 Michael Penn | 
Juneau Empire

In this file photo from Aug. 1, 2019, Monika Kunat, left, signs an application petition to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy with others at the Planet Alaska Gallery in downtown Juneau. Michael Penn | Juneau Empire

Judge vacates order halting enforcement of recall decision

Twists and turns.

By Becky Bohrer

Associated Press

A state court judge on Wednesday said a decision that would have allowed the recall effort against Gov. Mike Dunleavy to proceed was “inadvertently” put on hold.

In a written order Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth in Anchorage vacated the stay and said additional briefs were due Thursday.

Earlier this month, Aarseth said petitions should be issued by Feb. 10, so recall supporters could begin a new signature-gathering phase. He indicated then that he did not intend to halt that process. Then Tuesday, after receiving written arguments from Stand Tall With Mike, a group opposed to the recall effort, he issued a decision staying the matter pending resolution of the case in the Alaska Supreme Court.

On Wednesday, he said the order granting the request was issued “inadvertently.”

The court system, in a series of tweets Wednesday, said Aarseth reviewed a motion for expedited consideration and a motion for a stay while away on an urgent family issue. By telephone, he authorized granting the motion for expedited consideration only but the motion for a stay was inadvertently granted as well, according to the Alaska Court System.

Brewster Jamieson, an attorney for Stand Tall With Mike, said he thinks a stay should be granted, and he intends to file a response.

Scott Kendall, an attorney for the Recall Dunleavy group, said Aarseth recognized he made an administrative mistake. Absent a stay by the judge or Alaska Supreme Court, the state Division of Elections is under an order to issue petitions by Feb. 10, Kendall said.


• This is an Associated Press report by Becky Bohrer.


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