Activist slaps Palin with lawsuit over private emails
Andrew McLemore
Published: Saturday October 4, 2008

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A Republican activist has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Sarah Palin in an attempt to access official correspondences sent with Palin's private e-mail accounts, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

The activist, Andree McLeod, filed the suit in Alaska Superior Court and publicized it with a press release that criticized the Republican vice presidential candidate.

"Rather than using her state e-mail account, throughout her two-year tenure as Governor of Alaska, defendant Sarah Palin, as a matter of routine, has used, and, on information and belief, continues to use, (at least) two private e-mail accounts... to conduct official business of the State of Alaska," the suit alleges.

McLeod received four boxes of redacted e-mails after filing an open record request that was initially rejected by the governor.

But Palin withheld 1,100 other e-mails from private accounts, claiming the information was subject to executive privilege.

The governor and her staff have no legal obligation to divulge policy deliberations to the public, but the presence of her husband Todd Palin, who has no formal role in her administration, belies concerns that the contents of the e-mails are strictly state business.

McLeod said she believes Palin and her staff nurtured a "culture of corruption" where no one in her administration was held accountable to rules of transparency in government.

"The extent of the use of these private e-mail accounts demonstrates the extent of deception that the governor is operating under," McLeod said. "The process is corrupt. The overall question now becomes, how did it become so broken that nobody could tell her, 'Don't do that.' That's why I'm going to the courts."

A subpoena has been issued for Sarah Palin and Todd Palin as part of an investigation into abuse-of-power allegations, the Associated Press reported.

Todd Palin said Saturday he is now planning to speak to an investigator after previously refusing to answer a subpoena against him.

His concession came shortly after a judge's decision Friday to toss a suit brought by Republican legislators who claimed the probe had been tainted by partisan politics in an attempt to damage Palin before the November election, the Associated Press reported.

Gov. Palin has been accused of pressuring Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan in an effort to fire a state trooper with whom Palin has a personal complaint. Palin fired Monegan early this summer.