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Press Release

Position Transfers in the Department of Law, Criminal Division

February 5, 2009

(Anchorage, AK) - Deputy District Attorney John Novak will be transferring to a position in the Criminal Division Central Office in Anchorage where he will represent the Department of Public Safety. Assistant Attorney General Jay Fayette will be transferring to the Anchorage District Attorney's Office from the Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals in order to focus on gang prosecution. Both of these attorneys carry important case loads for the Department of Law, so the dates of their new appointments need to remain flexible.

Mr. Novak will provide general legal services and advice to the Department of Public Safety in relation to both criminal and civil matters including challenges to criminal justice statutes, such as sex offender registration, DNA databank, and victims' rights.

Mr. Novak has been a prosecutor in the Anchorage DA's Office for more than eighteen years. He has earned the respect of the public, his co-workers, and members of the criminal justice system through his dedication to each case and his ability to get along well with others. Over the years he has encouraged open communication with law enforcement and has often been called upon to provide training for police officers.

"John is an excellent prosecutor who has worked very hard for his community. His ethics, integrity, and efficiency should be a role model for all prosecutors," said Acting Attorney General Rick Svobodny. "He has spent many years assisting law enforcement in Anchorage. This position will allow him to share his knowledge and skills statewide."

Mr. Fayette currently supervises the special prosecutions section of the Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals. This section prosecutes white collar crimes and crimes where specialized expertise is needed like Medicaid Fraud and Environmental Crimes. Previously, he spent eleven years as a prosecutor in the Anchorage District Attorney's Office. Mr. Fayette has a broad knowledge of criminal law and procedure and is devoted to the mission of criminal justice.

Mr. Fayette will focus on the prosecution of gang related crimes. Few things evoke fear in a community like the incursion of gang activity. With gangs come drugs, guns, recriminations and retaliatory killings. The investigation and prosecution of these crimes is a priority for the Anchorage District Attorney's Office even though these crimes present a host of difficult problems, including recanting witnesses, intimidated bystanders and unsympathetic victims.

"We needed a person in this position who was already an experienced prosecutor and someone able to work proactively with local and federal law enforcement in developing and implementing crime combating strategies," said Acting Attorney General Rick Svobodny. "Jay is known for handling cases with energy, enthusiasm and creativity. He has the right mix of skills, confidence and experience to tackle the complex problems we are seeing in gang related crimes."

Both of these positions are internal transfers within the Department of Law.

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