Sarah: Careful What You Ask For Because Troopergate’s Not Over

Troopergate continues.

A few weeks ago in a calculated “gamble” to sidetrack the legislative investigation of Troopergate, the McCain-Palin campaign advised Sarah to file an ethics complaint against herself with the Alaska state Personnel Board. Yes, Sarah filed an ethics complaint against herself. The idea behind the complaint was to compel a body other than the bi-partisan, legislative council to look into allegations that Sarah had inappropriately used her authority to have her ex-brother-in-law Mike Wooten fired. The Personnel Board reports directly to Sarah, operates confidentially, and was assumed to give Sarah a quieter “pass” or, to use one of Sarah’s favorite terms, maybe a “slap on the wrist” over the ethics violation charges. This combined with the McCain-Palin campaign’s blizzard of lawsuits to stop the legislative council’s investigation was supposed to save Sarah from the embarrassment of an ethics investigation during the presidential campaign.

So last week the legislative council’s Branchflower Report on Troopergate came out. The verdict:

  1. Sarah Palin abused her power in trying to get Mike Wooten fired.
  2. Sarah also fired public safety commissioner Walt Monegan in part because he wouldn’t fire Wooten.
  3. The state also needs to clean-up their processes for handling personnel files because Sarah’s office ended up with information that it shouldn’t have had.

Sarah dragged a lot of people through Troopergate (my last count is 53) and violated ethics statutes by exerting unacceptable pressure on state employees to fire Wooten. That’s the findings from the legislative council’s Branchflower report.

And now the Personnel Board’s investigation is shifting into higher drive. The Personnel Board has hired its own outside investigator, Tim Petumenos, to review the ethnics complaint. Petumenos has requested all confidential documents used in the legislative investigation of Troopergate and additionally has amended the original ethics complaint to include others. At least two other complaints are known:

  1. Activist Andree McLeod alleges that state hiring practices were circumvented for a Palin supporter. The case is not related to Monegan’s firing.
  2. The Public Safety Employees Association alleges that trooper Mike Wooten’s personnel file was illegally breached by state officials. And he subjected to workplace “harassment”. This was related to some of the most eye opening findings of the Branchflower report: Todd Palin handing out an internal, administrative investigation document from 2006 about disciplinary actions against Mike Wooten. Plus Sarah’s aides, particularly Frank Bailey, knowing information from Wooten’s confidential workers compensation claim files. And then Frank Bailey having a copy of Mike Wooten’s original application for the position of Alaskan state trooper.

Wow. Remember: Sarah herself asked to be investigated by the Personnel Board. They’re interviewing
Sarah next week and may release findings before November 4th.

Read the Anchorage Daily News article.

Read the Newsweek article.


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