Report--Excerpts from pp. 65-67:
Governor Sarah Palin
The policy underlying Alaska's Ethics Act is to discourage executive branch employees from acting upon personal interests in the performance of their public responsibilities and to avoid conflicts of interest in the performance of duty. The Act makes clear that compliance with the code of ethics creates a burden on each executive branch employee that is personal in nature
Compliance with the code of ethics is not optional. . . .
The evidence supports the conclusion that Governor Palin, at the least, engaged in "official action" by her inaction if not by her active participation or assistance to her husband in attempting to get Trooper Wooten fired [and there is evidence of her active participation]. She knowingly, as that term is defined in the above cited statutes, 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 employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fired. Her conduct violated AS 39.52.110(a) of the Ethics Act. . . .
Governor Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda, to wit: to get Trooper Michael Wooten fired. She had the authority and power to require Mr. Palin to cease contacting subordinates, but she failed to act.
Such impermissible and repeated contacts create conflicts of interests for subordinate employees who must choose either to please a superior or run the risk of facing that superior's displeasure and possible consequences of such displeasure. This is one of the very reasons the Ethics Act was promulgated by the Legislature. . . .
In this case, Governor Palin has declined to provide an interview. An interview would have assisted everyone to better understand her motives and perhaps help explain why she was so apparently intent upon getting Trooper Wooten fired in spite of the fact she knew he ad been disciplined following the Administrative Investigation. She also knew that he had been permitted to keep his job, and that the disciplinary investigation was closed and could not be reopened. Yet she allowed the pressure from her husband, to try to get Trooper Wooten fired, to continue unabated over a several month-period of time.
Governor Palin has stated publicly that she and her family feared Trooper Wooten. Yet the evidence presented has been inconsistent with such claims of fear. The testimony from Trooper Wheeler, who was part of her security detail from the start, was that shortly after elected to office, she ordered a substantial reduction in manpower in her personal protection detail in both Anchorage and Juneau, an act that is inconsistent with a desire to avoid harm from Trooper Wooten or others. Moreover, assuming that Trooper Wooten was ever inclined to attack Governor Palin or a family member, logic dictates that getting him fired would accomplish nothing to eliminate the potential for harm to her or her family. On the contrary, it might just precipitate some retaliatory conduct on his part. Causing Wooten to loose [sic] his job would not have de-escalated the situation, or provided her or her family with greater security.
Finally, it is noteworthy that almost every contact with subordinate employees, Mr. Palin's comments were couched in terms of his desire to see Trooper Wooten fired for reasons that had nothing to do with fear....
I conclude that such claims of fear were not bona fide and were offered to provide cover for the Palins' real motivation: to get Trooper Wooten fired for personal family related reasons....
For all the above reasons, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power as Governor in that her conduct violated AS 39.52.110(a) of the Ethics Act.