Sullivan confirmed as Alaska attorney general

By Chris Rizo | Apr 9, 2010

Dan Sullivan

JUNEAU, Alaska (Legal Newsline) - The Alaska Legislature on Friday confirmed Dan Sullivan as the state's attorney general.

Sullivan's appointment was approved unanimously in a joint session of the Republican-led state Legislature.

Since June, Sullivan has been Alaska's acting chief legal officer. He was appointed by then-Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican, before she resigned in the middle of her first term.

Her successor, Republican Gov. Sean Parnell, left Sullivan's nomination intact. His nomination was pending legislative approval for months but state law allowed him to serve as state attorney general because he did not fail confirmation.

In Alaska, the attorney general is a gubernatorial appointee.

Sullivan replaced Talis Colberg as Alaska attorney general. Colberg, a Palin appointee, resigned in February 2009, after an unsuccessful challenge to subpoenas issued in an investigation regarding Palin's firing of a public safety commissioner.

Colberg had drawn fierce criticism from some state Democrats during the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, when Palin was the Republican vice presidential nominee.

Sullivan earned an undergraduate degree in economics from Harvard University. He received his law degrees -- a Juris Doctor and Masters of Science in Foreign Service -- from Georgetown University Law Center.

Before his appointment as attorney general, Sullivan served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs during the George W. Bush administration, from May 2006 until January 2009.

An Ohio native, Sullivan moved to Alaska in 1997, after he completed active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps.

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