Archive for the ‘troopergate’ Category

Alaska’s Very Busy Personnel Board: Monegan is Going to Make Sarah Palin Take It All Back

October 15, 2008

The Anchorage Daily News reports that former public safety commissioner Walt Monegan has requested a hearing from the Alaska state personnel board to clear his name. The McCain-Palin has been dragging his name and reputation through mud as part of Troopergate and he’s mad. If he does not get a hearing with publicly released results, then Monegan will take his case to court.

The Alaska state personnel board is in the process of conducting its own ethics investigation of Sarah Palin and the charge that she abused her power. It has recently announced that it is expanding its probe to include additional complaints and more state employees. Results could be released before the election.

Sarah Palin is the human resources manager’s worse nightmare: A person who disregards common standards of workplace conduct and spouts gossip. And when she’s not talking she has her surrogate, husband Todd, do her trash talking for her. She’s a magnet for workplace lawsuits.

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The Top 10 “L-Words” Used to Describe Sarah Palin

October 14, 2008
  1. Loathsome
  2. Lousy
  3. Lethal
  4. Licentious
  5. Lacking
  6. Lawless
  7. Lurid
  8. Lummox
  9. Lumpenproletariat
  10. Liar — courtesy of Rachel Maddow — in all its variations: lying, lie.

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

October 14, 2008

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.

Sarah Palin’s Alternate Universe on the Rachel Maddow Show

October 14, 2008

Rachel uses the “L-Word” to talk about Sarah Palin. She calls Sarah a “liar”.

Todd Palin says Mike Wooten Intervened When a Couple Got Into an Argument in a Bar

October 13, 2008

Another tidbit from the Hackett’s Legal Investigations attachments in the back of Todd Palin’s statement to Stephen Branchwater. This is dated 6/27/2005 and concerns a confrontation in the Mugshot Saloon in Wasilla  between 2:00 and 3:00 am in the morning. Chris Brightbill spoke to investigator Leonard Hackett. Brightbill was the evening bar manager and bartender at the Mugshot Saloon from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am. (Quick note: Bars in Alaska are open all night?)

Brad Jackman and his girlfriend were in the bar arguing. Brightbill said that trooper Mike Wooten decided to get in the middle of the argument and raised his voice at Jackson. The two then stood up, gesticulated, and looked like they were going to fight. Brightbill got Wooten out of the bar and asked him to not get into it with Jackman; that Brightbill would take care of the situation. Brightbill said if he had not intervened and gotten Wooten outside of the bar that there could have been a fight. Apparently, that was enough to diffuse the situation between Wooten and Brightbill.

So Wooten was in a bar with a friend and tried to intervene when Jackman and his girlfriend got into an argument. This event could cut both ways. Hackett’s description is more lurid than Brightbill’s including describing both participants as being drunk. Brightbill does not state that the participants are drunk but indicates that Wooten had come into the bar with a friend about an hour before the confrontation. Brightbill was definitely unhappy that Wooten got involved in an argument in his bar and was not pleased that he had to ask a state trooper to diffuse a potential fight between two customers in his bar, particularly when one of them was a state trooper. But this incident could also be held up as an example of Wooten trying to protect a women in a fight with her boyfriend. Hackett himself wrote that Brightbill thought Wooten wanted to “be the hero in this matter of Brad and his girlfriend fighting and he wanted a confrontation.” So it sounded like it was more than simple bickering between a couple that morning in the bar.

I wonder why Todd Palin’s attorney allowed him to include this attachment in his statement to Branchflower. Parts of the statement certainly reflect poorly on Wooten and could be construed to show a pattern of aggressive or threatening behavior. And Todd Palin repeated states that Wooten was a threat to his family. But the part about Wooten intervening between a nasty fight between a couple doesn’t show Wooten in a poor light.

Todd Palin’s Statement in response to the subpoena. (52 pages in pdf format — the part about the bar argument is at the end right before the attachment about the $5 dump fine)