Another interesting twist in the TrooperGate investigation.

Apparently Palin and her family were talking publicly about Mike Wooten so much that a judge essentially put a gag on them. And this was before she was Governor.

From Newsweek…

Court records obtained by NEWSWEEK show that during the course of divorce hearings three years ago, Judge John Suddock heard testimony from an official of the Alaska State Troopers’ union about how Sarah Palin—then a private citizen—and members of her family, including her father and daughter, lodged up to a dozen complaints against Wooten with the state police.

The union official told the judge that he had never before been asked to appear as a divorce-case witness, that the union believed family complaints against Wooten were “not job-related,” and that Wooten was being “harassed” by Palin and other family members.

Court documents show that Judge Suddock was disturbed by the alleged attacks by Palin and her family members on Wooten’s behavior and character. “Disparaging will not be tolerated—it is a form of child abuse,” the judge told a settlement hearing in October 2005, according to typed notes of the proceedings. The judge added: “Relatives cannot disparage either. If occurs [sic] the parent needs to set boundaries for their relatives.”

As many of you know by now, after Palin became Governor the subject of Trooper Wooten’s employment was brought to Chief of Police Walt Monegan’s attention again and again through aides and personal emails sent by Palin herself. However, since Wooten had been punished by the department, Monegan apparently didn’t see any reason to question why he was employed. And then Monegan lost his job and this whole mess started.

Say what you will about Trooper Wooten’s actions, but he had been punished for what he did well before Palin took office. In fact, he had been punished while he was still married to her sister. It was only after the divorce that Palin started to really step up the “Why is this guy still around?” talk.

And frankly, the more and more I look at this case, the more I think that this timeline does not favor a good outcome for Palin. Perhaps some other information about Wooten doing something atrocious will come out, but I’m pretty sure we would have heard about that by now.

More as it develops…

Politics Judge Warned Palin To Stop Talking About Trooper Wooten