Friday, October 10, 2008

Alaska legislature's 263 page report on Palin troopergate released

From the NY Times, October 9:
"In Dozens of Calls, Palins Pressed for Trooper's Removal."

October 9, from Bloomberg News:
"Alaska Supreme Court Refuses to Halt Palin Probe (Update1)."
"Alaska Inquiry Finds Palin Abused Powers" reads a Serge Kovaleski, New York Times story of the Alaska legislative report on Palin. The legislature issued its 263 page report late Friday. It said that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power. From the Times:
The report concludes that the action was a violation of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.

It addressed the issue of executive abuse of power and the way the governor exerted power over subordinates:
“Such impermissible and repeated contacts,” the report states, “create conflicts of interests for subordinate employees who must choose to either please a superior or run the risk of facing that superior’s displeasure and the possible consequences of that displeasure.”

However, the decision said that she was in her legal authority to fire public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, the head of troopers. (Palin's disagreement with the office-holder stemmed from her personal beef toward Trooper Michael Wooten, her sister's ex-husband.)

What now lies ahead is not fully known at this point. Ms. Palin could be censured by the Legislature, but that is unlikely.
. . .
In the report, the independent investigator, Stephen E. Branchflower, a former prosecutor in Anchorage, said that Ms. Palin wrongfully allowed her husband, Todd, to use state resources as part of the effort to have Trooper Wooten dismissed.

The report says she knowingly “permitted Todd Palin to use the governor’s office and the resources of the governor’s office, including access to state employees, to continue to contact subordinate state employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fired.”

Further, it says, she “knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda.”

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