Official: Palin Abused Authority In Troopergate
Looks like there was enough “there” there for a 12 person legislative committee to unanimously decide to release this report and find her guilty of ethics abuse.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A legislative committee investigating Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has found she unlawfully abused her authority in firing the state’s public safety commissioner.
The investigative report concludes that a family grudge wasn’t the sole reason for firing Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan but says it likely was a contributing factor.
The Republican vice presidential nominee has been accused of firing a commissioner to settle a family dispute. Palin supporters have called the investigation politically motivated.
Monegan says he was dismissed as retribution for resisting pressure to fire a state trooper involved in a bitter divorce with the governor’s sister. Palin says Monegan was fired as part of a legitimate budget dispute.
Again, this was a 12-0 vote. This was not a partisan witch hunt. She abused her power and now she has been called out on it.
No word yet on what type of punishment she’ll face, but this certainly couldn’t come at a worse time for McCain.
Meanwhile, I’m not holding my breath for this to appear as a massive headline with flashing red lights on Drudge.
“Governor Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda,” the report states.
And here’s the link to the full report.
Here’s an excerpt…
Finding Number One
For the reasons explained in section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) provides The legislature reaffirms that each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust.
Finding Number Two
I find that, although Walt Monegan’s refusal to fire Trooper Michael Wooten was not the sole reason he was fired by Governor Sarah Palin, it was likely a contributing factor to his termination as Commissioner of Public Safety. In spite of that, Governor Palin’s firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.
Finding Number Three
Harbor Adjustment Service of Anchorage, and its owner Ms. Murleen Wilkes, handled Trooper Michael Wooten’s workers’ compensation claim property and in the normal course of business like any other claim processed by Harbor Adjustment Service and Ms. Wilkes. Further, Trooper Wooten received all the workers’ compensation benefits to which he was entitled.
Finding Number Four
The Attorney General’s office has failed to substantially comply with my August 6, 2008 written request to Governor Sarah Palin for information about the case in the form of emails.
Seems pretty straightforward. Firing Monegan was legal, but her conduct was unethical.