Ethics Investigation of Palin Expanded

The Alaska Legislature has concluded its TrooperGate investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin, but the investigation of the Palin-appointed Personnel Board, an investigation she requested, continues and is widening its focus to include other employees and other ethical complaints against Palin.

The [board's]investigator, Tim Petumenos, did not say who else is under scrutiny. But in two recent letters describing his inquiry, he cited the consolidation of complaints and the involvement of other officials as a reason for not going along with Palin's request to make the examination of her activities more public.

Two other ethics complaints involving Palin are known. One, by activist Andree McLeod, alleges that state hiring practices were circumvented for a Palin supporter. The case is not related to Monegan's firing. The other, by the Public Safety Employees Association, alleges that trooper Mike Wooten's personnel file was illegally breached by state officials.

Also today, the Anchorage Daily News excoriates Palin in an editorial for her inaccurate portrayal of the Legislative report in media interviews. Palin told the media she was cleared of any ethical wrongoing. The paper writes: [More...]

Sarah Palin's reaction to the Legislature's Troopergate report is an embarrassment to Alaskans and the nation.

...She claims the report "vindicates" her. She said that the investigation found "no unlawful or unethical activity on my part."

Her response is either astoundingly ignorant or downright Orwellian.

Maybe Palin has reading comprehension issues.

Page 8, Finding Number One of the report says: "I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act."

The paper continues:

Palin asserted that the report found "there was no abuse of authority at all in trying to get Officer Wooten fired."

In fact, the report concluded that "impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda, to wit: to get Trooper Michael Wooten fired."

Palin's response is the kind of political "big lie" that George Orwell warned against. War is peace. Black is white. Up is down.

What Palin should have said, according to the paper:

"I'm gratified that the report confirmed what I said all along, that I had the authority to terminate Walt Monegan as public safety commissioner.

"I absolutely disagree that I violated state ethics law. In repeatedly complaining about trooper Mike Wooten, Todd and I were not pursuing a personal vendetta. We were trying to protect the integrity of the Alaska State Troopers from having an arrogant, almost-out-of-control law-breaker in their ranks. Because the action we were seeking was in the public interest, not purely our personal interest, there is no ethics law violation."

Instead, with her false exoneration claims, it's evident she has a serious ethical deficiency:

[Palin and her husband] had no sense that the power of the governor's office carries a special responsibility not to use it to settle family scores. They had no sense that legal restrictions might prevent the troopers from firing Wooten. They had no sense that persistent queries from the governor's office might be perceived as pressure to bend state personnel laws.

Gov. Palin and her husband were obsessed with Wooten the way Capt. Ahab was obsessed with the Great White Whale. No Wooten, no peace.

Memo to Gov. Palin:

Bottom line: Gov. Palin, read the report. It says you violated the ethics law.

Even more problems for Palin abound. Fired safety commissioner Walt Monegan filed a complaint yesterday seeking a due process hearing to clear his name over Palin's characterizations of the reasons she fired him. It's accompanied by 65 pages of memos and e-mails. Here's a sample:

"Because Trooper Wooten had already been investigated and disciplined for the conduct raised by Todd Palin, in the absence of new information or new allegations, re-disciplining him for the same conduct was legally impermissable. Firing him for the conduct for which he had already been disciplined by Mr. Monegan's predecessor would almost certainly guarantee that Trooper Wooten would sue the State and that he likely would prevail.
Todd Palin clearly was displeased with this response. He suggested that criminal charges be filed against Trooper Wooten for illegally using his then-wife's permit to kill a moose.

Mr. Monegan advised that, because the incident had occurred more than three years earlier, it was unlikely that a prosecutor would pursue the charge and, further, because the Governor's sister had willingly allowed Trooper Wooten to take the moose on her permit, and the Governor's parents had participated in butchering and consuming an animal they knew to have been illegally taken, Trooper Wooten might not be the only person a prosecutor would want to hold accountable.

Todd Palin reacted very negatively to that assessment and insisted that Trooper Wooten, and only Trooper Wooten should be charged."

Here's Monegan's motion.

< Report: Alaska National Guard Mismanaged Under Palin | Voter Suppression and Disenfranchisement, Not Fraud, Are the Real Issues >
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  • Display: Sort:
    yeah (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by sas on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 12:17:07 PM EST
    Today's Money Quote (5.00 / 0) (#17)
    by CoralGables on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 03:42:15 PM EST
    From an editorial in the Anchorage Daily News.

    "Gov. Palin and her husband were obsessed with Wooten the way Capt. Ahab was obsessed with the Great White Whale."

    Why not more attention? (5.00 / 0) (#19)
    by BigElephant on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 05:24:15 PM EST
    I must admit that I'm surprised that the TrooperGate findings haven't been given more attention.  This seems like the biggest story about the candidates since the primary season began.  Rev. Wright was a news story every day for two weeks.  Hillary's phantom shooters were a story for a week.  This, eh, a day.  Really weird.

    Major difference there (none / 0) (#20)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 06:50:34 PM EST
    Palin's not a dem, thus her various scandals apparently don't matter to the press.

    When I see news clips of McCain/Palin rallies (4.00 / 0) (#1)
    by imhotep on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 12:06:16 PM EST
    it's pretty obvious that their appeal is to people who are mostly uninformed or ill-informed (Townhall, Freepville, Andy Martin) about their candidates.

    Frankly, I hope Mr. and Mrs. Palin (none / 0) (#3)
    by scribe on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 12:17:24 PM EST
    have paid up their defamation insurance.  I can think of three people who would have a good shot at winning a suit against one or both of them:

    Bill Ayers.

    Ayers, it should be noted, was never convicted of anything.  Indeed, the crime of terrorism did not exist in the United States until only a very few years ago - well after the events in which he was allegedly implicated.  And, anyone who argues calling someone a "terrorist" is not defamatory, well, they've  been learning argument at the Sarah Palin/Joe Goebbels School of Rhetoric and Reason.  I have read - though I don't know the accuracy of the story - that Ayers had to leave the country after this crap started getting currency in the Republicans' propaganda.  I'd suggest he retain counsel and look into bringing a suit.  There are any number of good, ball-breaking attorneys in Chicago who are doubtless salivating at the chance.

    And, if he wants to really roast the Palins' chestnuts, any damages he wins he could donate to the ACLU.  Life imitates art (e.g., in The Manchurian Candidate) and all that.

    Frankly, I'd love to watch the Palins be compelled to talk - like Bill Gates did - and answer, not dodge, questions during a videotaped deposition.  They'd look stupid - no acting needed - forever.

    And, for that matter, Wooten ought to look into seeing whether he can file a stalking complaint against Todd Palin.  The conduct seems squarely within the range of prohibited conduct, at least under the pretty-uniform statute in my home state.

    How about simple contempt? (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 12:58:26 PM EST
    The Judge in the child custody proceedings ordered the entire family not to disparage Mr.Wooten.


    Simple contempt of court and show cause should be sufficient.


    MSNBC broke a new story last night... (none / 0) (#4)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 12:53:29 PM EST
    Turns out Ms.Palin, while running for Gov., had the contractors involved with Ted Stevens build her a house 1 mile from the new sports complex that she granted them bid wins upon.

    "Scandalgate: The official investigation into Sarah Palin's Troopergate Scandal released over the weekend... Was so unambiguous that it spelled out how, quote, she "abused her power"... how she broke the quote, "code of ethics" and how she was guilty of "violating Alaska Statute". And she immediately lied about what the report said. Our third story on the Countdown: a fitting triple-header: Troopergate, Troopergate-Report-Gate, and something new -- the possibility that the giant new home she claimed her husband and a few contractor buddies built, was actually improperly constructed by the same people who built the twelve million dollar sports complex Mayor Palin got built in Wasilla, Alaska."


    careful there, NMvoice (1.00 / 1) (#6)
    by wystler on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 01:38:21 PM EST
    don't want to be accused of sexism here, do ya?

    (pardon my snark)


    I'll raise you one pair of panties (3.00 / 2) (#7)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 01:40:03 PM EST

    "Did Sports Complex Contractors Build Palin's House for Free?"


    This is sexism (none / 0) (#8)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 01:43:47 PM EST
    "Obama Supporters Protest With Obscene Anti-Palin Shirts"


    T-shirts saying "Sarah Palin is a **" (four letter word intended as a derogatory slur regarding a female primary sexual characteristic in anatomy)

    The people... (3.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Thanin on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 02:10:47 PM EST
    with the shirts are republican plants.

    Dr. Molly... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Thanin on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 08:02:04 PM EST
    how is this post troll worthy?  Im not insulting anyone.

    You have incurred the wrath. . . (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 09:34:48 PM EST
    of one of the serial ratings abusers here at TalkLeft.  You need to learn to wear it as a badge of honor.

    Yeah... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Thanin on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 10:09:36 PM EST
    Ive been getting 1s from her/him for months now.  I just like to call them out on it when theres no defense to it.

    As A Woman (1.00 / 2) (#13)
    by MTSINAIMAMA on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 02:07:30 PM EST
    I hate the c word, but I'll make an exception in this case.

    Well, that's just wrong. (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Teresa on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 02:17:15 PM EST
    I hate (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Cream City on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 09:56:17 PM EST
    the exception-in-this-case defense, in such cases.

    Someone with your sig will, I presume, know where it can lead.


    please put your urls in html format (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 01:47:05 PM EST
    or they skew the site and I have to delete your comment. You can use the link button at the top of your comment box or go to tinyurl.com and get a short link.

    Sorry Jeralyn (none / 0) (#10)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 01:52:29 PM EST
    But I use the "cite" "/cite" (in angle brackets)?

    What else do I need to do?


    put then in regular html tags (none / 0) (#11)
    by white n az on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 01:55:51 PM EST
    like this...

    < a href="http://some_url.example.com" > Text description and then the closing tag < /a >

    obviously you can't have the spaces between the brackets and tags.


    Thanks but (none / 0) (#12)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 02:04:45 PM EST
    way too much typing. I'll try to stick to the link button, as Jeralyn suggested.

    You might want to remove "cite /cite" from the list of usable html tags below the comment box.


    Easy Way That Works For Me (none / 0) (#18)
    by daring grace on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 03:54:50 PM EST
    You use brackets [] and put the word you want to indicate your link, like...link and then cut and paste the URL.

    So [LINK URL pasted]


    nutty (none / 0) (#16)
    by connecticut yankee on Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 02:51:59 PM EST
    This denial from Palin shows how amateurish the McCain campaign is at this game.  That's not how you respond to serious charges.

    Oh boo hooo (none / 0) (#25)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 11:43:15 AM EST
    I have read - though I don't know the accuracy of the story - that Ayers had to leave the country after this crap started getting currency in the Republicans' propaganda.

    Poor baby! Is this like O.J. Simpson having to lose his golf membership? Or is it worse?

    Correct, Ayers, like O.J., was never convicted of anything. So that means they didn't do anything, right?! In any case, Ayers was not indicted for "terrorism," he was indicted for arson, and was let off on a technicality (not even cleared by a jury like O.J.)

    Correction: O.J. of course, has been convicted of armed robbery, but he was never convicted for his real crime of murdering his wife and her friend. If you want to believe that makes him "innocent," feel free. Ayers and his cronies hurt and killed people too, but they weren't convicted so that makes them OK too?