Troopergate report: Palin abused power
David Edwards and Andrew McLemore
Published: Friday October 10, 2008

Print This  Email This

An investigation of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin found she abused her power as an Alaska governor in the firing of the state public safety commissioner, the Associated Press reported.

The report concludes that Palin's desire for a state trooper to be dismissed following a family dispute was one of several factors leading to the firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan.

Monegan claims his dismissal was an act of vengeance for resisting pressure to fire a state trooper involved in a bitter divorce with the governor's sister.

"I feel vindicated," Monegan said. "It sounds like they've validated my belief and opinions. And that tells me I'm not totally out in left field."

Palin and her supporters deny the accusations and have called the probe a politically-motivated attempt to tarnish her reputation as a reformer before the November election.

The Alaska governor said her action against Monegan was over a budget dispute.

Investigator Stephen Branchflower led the bipartisan panel that investigated the matter and found Palin in violation of a state ethics law, KTUU reported.

"I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch ethics act," Branchflower said in the 263-page report.

"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,'" Branchflower continued.

Alaska's Legislative Council reviewed the report for more than six hours Friday in a closed-door executive session before deciding unanimously to release it to the public.

CNN's Campbell Brown reported that Palin's wanted her former brother in-law Mike Wooten fired because the governor claimed he was harassing her family and threatened to "kill her father."

Wooten denies these claims.

The investigation did not find that Palin broke any laws and asserts that she was fully within her rights to hire and fire commissioner Monegan at her discretion.

Monegan said he was never directly asked to fire Wooten, but believes his unwillingness to do so was a factor in losing his job.

The investigation's 263-page report can be seen here.

This video is from MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast October 10, 2008.

Download video via

This video is from CNN's Election Center, broadcast October 10, 2008.

Download video via