Alaska Grand Jurors Association has released a new video laying out why the groups believes all Alaskans should oppose efforts by state officials to hinder or block citizen grand juries from investigating corrupt judges and government officials.

Posted earlier winter, the 17-minute video explains how Alaska grand juries have been systematically targeted by the very people they are intended to investigate, namely judges and government officials.

The video was released shortly before an Anchorage judge dismissed a perjury charge against former Homer Judge Margaret Murphy, who was charged with the felony crime by a Kenai grand jury last spring.

In dismissing the case, Anchorage Superior Court Judge Thomas Matthews cited several procedural errors, as well as evidence against Murphy that he claims could not be used in a court of law.

Judge Matthews did not, however, rule on whether Murphy actually committed perjury, but indicated that the case could be revisited if the technical errors were corrected.

The recent grand jury charges against Murphy were seen by many judicial reform advocates as a seminal moment in their ongoing effort to root out corrupt judges and government officials.

Murphy served as an Alaska District Judge in Homer before retiring in 2019. If she had been tried and convicted, she would have faced up to 10 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

Murphy’s perjury charge was associated with a 2005 case against David Haeg, who was convicted of illegally hunting wolves via plane. Haeg has long-maintained that Murphy, Alaska Trooper Brett Gibbens and his own defense team illegally conspired to convict him. While this has never been proven in court, a Superior Court Judge has concluded that Murphy and the trooper were too closely connected, and that Murphy should not have handled Haeg’s case.

Over the past two decades, Haeg has spearheaded a much larger effort to root out judicial corruption throughout Alaska’s court system. A vital component of this mission is to empower citizen-led grand juries in their constitutionally-guaranteed authority to investigate and indict corrupt judges and officials without interference.

In particular, Haeg and others associated with the judicial reform group, Alaska Grand Jurors’ Association, have peacefully demonstrated in support of the Kenai Grand Jury’s constitutional authority to investigate Murphy as well as a number of other judicial corruption allegations, which they believe could result in additional charges against more government officials and judges.

The work of the Alaska Grand Jurors’ Association to inform, empower and equip grand jurors drew the attention of the Alaska Supreme Court, which issued Court Order 1993 about  a year ago in an attempt to place restrictions on a state grand jurors’ authority to investigate and indict corrupt judges and public officials.

Nevertheless, the Kenai grand jury proceeded with its investigation of Murphy, which eventually led to felony charges that were then dismissed on technical grounds last month.

“It is a very important thing, not only for us but for all future Alaskans, that we preserve the grand jury’s right to investigate wrongdoing by judges,” Haeg has maintained. “Because we now know that those judges and the court system will try to not have investigations into what they’re doing.”


— Click here to view the new video on attempts to hinder Alaska grand juries.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

New video urges Alaskans to fight efforts to block Grand Juries’ from investigating corrupt officials

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.