New Bethel District Attorney Pledges Outreach to Community
Juneau, Alaska – Attorney General John J. Burns named June Stein as the new district attorney for the Bethel region along with Evan Arendell as a new assistant district attorney for that office.
Burns said the appointments of Stein and Arendell, who join five assistant DAs already on the job, are intended to further the goals of the Bethel Justice Project, an outgrowth of the Parnell administration’s ongoing effort to improve the quality of life in the Bush, including a comprehensive approach to deal with the epidemic of domestic violence and sexual assault in the state.
“There are many challenges in rural Alaska but none are more fundamental than protecting the personal safety of the people,” said Governor Parnell. “I’m pleased that the attorney general is taking steps to bring stability and strong leadership to the Bethel District Attorney’s Office.”
“June and Evan bring impressive credentials to these positions,” said Burns, who made the hiring decisions after a recent trip to Bethel. “We need top-notch, highly experienced prosecutors to address the myriad of criminal justice issues in the region. June, in particular, can serve a vital mentoring role in assuring residents that laws are being enforced with continuity and good judgment.”
Stein, a former district attorney for the Kenai Peninsula, has been a prosecutor for more than 20 years. Recently she had been an assistant attorney general with the Alaska Department of Law’s Rural Prosecution Unit and had served periodically as an acting district attorney for the Bethel office. She teaches classes on such subjects as search and seizure, Miranda rights and sexual assault investigations for both the state troopers and village public safety officers at the Public Safety Academies in Sitka.
Stein said upon assuming her new duties that her top priorities are ensuring consistent enforcement of the law in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and reaching out to the community for perceptions about and proposed solutions for criminal justice issues specific to the region.
“We have great personnel in the Bethel office but some of them are new or are in new positions,” Stein said. “I hope to put my depth and breadth of experience to use in making sure that we present our cases to judges and juries in the best light possible. To that end, we want to hear from residents about their concerns and perceptions of the criminal justice process.”
Evan Arendell, a former prosecutor in rural New Mexico, is relocating to Bethel from Texas. He has more than two years experience in prosecuting both misdemeanors and felonies and conducted regular seminars for law enforcement personnel.