Palin nominates NRA leader for Alaska attorney general

Chris Rizo Mar. 27, 2009, 12:43pm

Wayne Anthony Ross

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Legal Newsline) - An Anchorage attorney and a National Rifle Association director has been nominated to serve as the state's new attorney general.

Republican Gov. Sarah Palin nominated Wayne Anthony Ross to serve as the state's chief legal officer, to succeed Talis Colberg, who resigned Feb. 10.

Ross is a former two-time gubernatorial candidate. He ran for governor in 1998 and again in 2002 in the Republican primary against then-U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski. He served as Palin's 2006 gubernatorial campaign chairman.

Earlier, Ross represented Palin when she made ethics complaints against Alaska Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich, who along with Palin sat on the state Oil and Gas Commission.

Before taking the job, Ross must first be confirmed by the state Legislature.

"Wayne Anthony Ross will be a great defender of Alaska and the people he serves," Palin said. "With his vast legal knowledge, experience and integrity, he will make an exceptional attorney general. I recognize the sacrifices our public servants make for Alaska and her people, and I am honored that Wayne is willing to make those sacrifices for the greater good."

Colberg resigned after drawing harsh criticism for his handling of the "Troopergate" scandal in which Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, was investigated for allegedly pressuring the state's public safety commissioner to fire a state trooper involved in a bitter divorce and child custody battle with Palin's sister.

Colberg unsuccessfully filed a lawsuit on behalf of seven state workers, challenging legislative authority to subpoena the workers.

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