Former legislator sues House speaker, Senate president over decision to meet in Juneau
A former state legislator has filed a lawsuit against the Legislature's presiding officers for their decision to convene members in Juneau for a special session that Gov. Mike Dunleavy intended to be held in Wasilla.
Former North Pole Representative Al Vezy filed the complaint through his attorney against House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, I-Dillingham, and Senate President Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, at a Fairbanks courthouse Wednesday.
In the document, Vezey asserts that the assembly of legislators in Juneau is not a legally constituted legislative session because Gov. Mike Dunleavy designated Wasilla Middle School as the location in his special session proclamation.
Vezey calls the gathering "an illegal attempt to hijack the governor's designation of location."
While state statute allows the governor to determine a location for sessions he calls, Giessel has countered that the separation of powers outlined in the Alaska constitution authorizes lawmakers to determine where they will meet.
While a majority of the Legislature followed Giessel and Egmon's call to meet in Juneau, 22 legislators have been meeting at Wasilla Middle School.
In his suit, Vezey calls it a "standoff" between legislators, arguing that the divide is "fiscally wasteful and irresponsible."
The lawsuit seeks an order that declares the legislative session in Juneau illegal and says any action taken during that session is null and void; it also asks for an injunction to compel Giessel and Edgmon to convene the Legislature in Wasilla.
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