Kemp picked to head state’s Criminal Division

Department of Law is working to fill district attorney vacancy.

Juneau District Attorney Angie Kemp has been named director of the Alaska Department of Law’s Criminal Division, state Attorney General Treg Taylor announced.

She replaces Jack McKenna as director of the state division that encompasses prosecution, victim and witness assistance, the office of criminal appeals, office of special prosecutions and advises public safety agencies. McKenna was recently appointed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy as a judge in the Anchorage Superior Court.

“It’s been a privilege to work as DA and serve my community,” Kemp said in a news release. “I’m looking forward to serving the state of Alaska in this new role. The objectives of our office have always been to seek justice and treat everyone fairly, and I’m eager to join Attorney General Taylor and Deputy Attorney General John Skidmore as we continue to carry out those goals.”

Kemp, who attended Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé, earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Arizona State University and studied law at Seattle University, according to the law department. While she was a law student, she was an intern in the Juneau District Attorney’s office, and she went to work for that office as an assistant district attorney in 2008. She has been a district attorney in Juneau since 2017.

“As a DA, Angie has demonstrated her commitment to justice and fairness, and she has made a name for herself as one of the best prosecutors in the state,” said Deputy Attorney General John Skidmore in a news release. “In her new role as Criminal Division Director, she will oversee DA’s offices across Alaska with the same high level of professionalism and knowledge that Jack brought to the job.”

Kemp will be based in Juneau. She will take over for McKenna on Jan. 24, according to the Department of Law.

McKenna joined the Department of Law in September 2009, where he worked prosecuting sex crimes for several years before moving to private practice at the Anchorage law firm of Birch, Horton, Bittner and Cherot, according to the law department. He returned to the department in September 2019 to head up the Criminal Division’s Office of Special Prosecutions, and he was named criminal division director last January.

“Jack’s calm and professional demeanor, as well as his knowledge of the law, served him well as a prosecutor and will make him an excellent judge,” Taylor said in a news release.

The Department of Law is currently in the process of recruiting for the Juneau District Attorney vacancy.

Contact the Juneau Empire newsroom at 907-308-4895