Former Alaska attorney general pleads not guilty to sex abuse charges

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A former Alaska attorney general pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of sexually abusing a minor three decades ago when he was the alleged victim’s high school coach .

Clyde « Ed » Sniffen, 58, pleaded through his attorney, Jeffrey Robinson. The two appeared by phone. Judge William Morse said a trial planning conference had been set for November 30.

The allegations date back to when Sniffen was 27 and an attorney in private practice, but coached the then 17-year-old girl’s mock trial competition team at an Anchorage high school.

Sniffen was named Alaska’s top law enforcement official on January 18, 2021, after his predecessor, Kevin Clarkson, resigned following allegations that he sent unwanted text messages to a female employee. ‘State. But Sniffen himself resigned just 11 days after his appointment, citing personal reasons.

The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica reported that Sniffen’s resignation came as they reported allegations of sexual misconduct with the Anchorage high school student three decades earlier.

The sexual relationship began during a trip to New Orleans for a national competition when the girl was 17, and continued for about two years in Anchorage, she told publications.

The Anchorage Police Department investigated after the relationship became public in 2021. Special Prosecutor Gregg Olson reviewed the investigation independently of the attorney general’s office.

A grand jury indicted Sniffen last week on three counts of child sexual abuse.

Mark Thiessen, Associated Press


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