State drops open container citation against Alaska lawmaker
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — An open container citation issued to an Alaska state lawmaker has been dismissed because the trooper who issued the citation is no longer in state employment after being accused of sexual abuse of a minor.
State Sen. Josh Revak, an Anchorage Republican, was cited in August for driving with an open can of beer in his car. Revak said he has been sober for seven years after using alcohol heavily following his return home after being injured in the Iraqi War, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Instead, state Sen. Scott Kawasaki, a Fairbanks Democrat, has said the beer was his. The two were driving from Anchorage to a fishing event on the Kenai Peninsula when they were stopped near Sterling for doing 66 mph (106 kph) in a 55 mph (88 kph) zone. Both lawmakers said Revak did not know beer was the beverage in the container.
The trooper issued Revak a $220 citation but did not charge him with speeding. Revak said he planned to challenge the ticket in court Wednesday before the charge was dismissed last week.
The trooper who issued the ticket was arrested and charged two weeks ago on suspicion of sexual abuse of a minor.
Troopers spokesman Austin McDaniel told The Associated Press on Tuesday the man was no longer employed by the state but declined to elaborate because it was a personnel issue.
When a trooper leaves service, their open investigations such as burglaries are turned over to other troopers to continue the case. However, troopers indicated that in those cases when a trooper who is no longer with the state has issued citations or is involved in other cases where court dates were involved, the state court system would have to weigh in.
In Revak’s case, the courts sent a request for the trooper who cited Revak to attend the court hearing Wednesday. However, the agency responded that the trooper is no longer employed by the state.
Since that trooper handling the Revak case was patrolling alone in his cruiser, there was no other trooper present who witnessed either the alleged speeding or open container in Revak’s car, prompting troopers to also ask the court to drop the citation, McDaniel said.
Revak said he planned to donate the money he would have paid if found guilty on the citation to an alcohol rehabilitation group. Kawasaki said he would match that donation.