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Press Release

Anchorage District Attorney John Novak to Retire; Deputy District Attorney Brittany Dunlop Named as Successor

April 16, 2020

(Anchorage, AK) – Long-time prosecutor and current Anchorage District Attorney John Novak will be retiring at the end of April, the Department of Law announced today. Mr. Novak was appointed in 2018 and his last day will be April 30, 2020. Attorney General Kevin Clarkson has selected Brittany Dunlop, currently the Deputy District Attorney in Anchorage, to succeed Mr. Novak and assume leadership of the Anchorage office.

“John dedicated his career to public service and Alaska is a better place because of his service,” said Attorney General Clarkson. “He has earned his retirement and I wish him well in that retirement.”

Mr. Novak first joined the Anchorage District Attorney’s Office in 1990, giving him 30 years of experience with the Department of Law – most of it in prosecuting cases ranging from misdemeanors to murder and appearing in courts in Anchorage, Kenai, Palmer, Seward, Bethel, Dillingham, Naknek, and Unalaska. Some of his more noteworthy cases included the prosecution of Joshua Wade for murder of Mindy Schloss, the prosecution of the racially motivated paintball attacks in Anchorage in 2001, and the prosecution of numerous domestic violence cases. In addition to serving the Anchorage District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Novak also served as the Acting Palmer District Attorney, as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, and provided legal advice to the Department of Public Safety for many years before taking the helm in the Anchorage Office.  

Ms. Dunlop is a lifelong Alaskan, having graduated from Lathrop High School in Fairbanks and thereafter receiving her B.A. in Political Science and Government from UAA. Ms. Dunlop  graduated from Hamline University School of Law in Minnesota in 2006 and returned to Alaska to serve as a prosecutor. Ms. Dunlop joined the Anchorage District Attorney’s Office in the Misdemeanor Unit in 2006 and worked her way up to supervising the Anchorage Sexual Assault Unit. She transferred to the Palmer District Attorney’s Office in 2012 where she continued her focus on the prosecution of sex crimes and domestic violence crimes until 2019, when she was promoted to Deputy District Attorney in Anchorage.

“I am pleased to appoint Brittany as the Anchorage District Attorney,” said Attorney General Clarkson. “Brittany’s years with the Department have given her the skills necessary to handle complex cases and effectively supervise a large office.”

Deputy Attorney General John Skidmore describes Ms. Dunlop as a career prosecutor with a steady hand. “Brittany understands the challenges that Anchorage faces with violent crimes and brings the experience as well as good working relationships with law enforcement necessary to be successful as the Anchorage District Attorney,” said Mr. Skidmore.

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Department Media Contact: Assistant Attorney General Maria Bahr at (907) 269-5285 or maria.bahr@alaska.gov.