The legal problems of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his wife may not be over. The couple may have to hire a new attorney to handle charges they exceeded the legal limit for silver salmon.
Moon, head of the Unification Church, and his wife, Han Hak Ja, were cited Aug. 25 by undercover Fish and Wildlife Protection troopers who were acting on a tip. The couple was fishing from the shore of Marka Bay on Afognak Island when Moon was observed taking 10 silver salmon -- twice the legal limit. Han was seen taking six silver salmon.
The couple initially pleaded not guilty but changed their pleas to guilty on Sept. 19 in Kodiak District Court. The violations are misdemeanors.
However, the legality of the process is being questioned because Anchorage attorney Marcus Paine, who represented them, had been temporarily suspended from practicing law by the Alaska Supreme Court. The order went into effect four days before the change of plea hearing.
The Alaska Bar Association requested and was granted Paine's suspension by the Supreme Court until an ethics charge against him is concluded.
The state district attorney's office has proposed scheduling a new hearing at which the Moons would be represented by another attorney.
The Moons live in Irvington, N.Y., but the church has an extensive presence in Kodiak and is the island's largest employer. The church owns a fleet of fishing boats and a processing plant, International Seafood of Alaska.