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Troopergate report: Palin abused power

 
 
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 06:38 pm

Anchorage Daily News

Published: October 10th, 2008 04:29 PM
Last Modified: October 10th, 2008 04:29 PM

An investigation has concluded that Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power, according to a report just now unanimously released by the legislative council.


The report by investigator Steve Branchflower found that Palin violated the state's executive branch ethics act, which says 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 was investigating whether Palin abused her power by pushing for the firing of state trooper Mike Wooten, who once was married to the governor's sister.
http://www.adn.com/palin/story/552393.html
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 06:47 pm
@blueflame1,
There was little doubt that she abused her power. Smart people know that when you get into a potential conflict of interest position like this you take active, deliberate steps to distance yourself from it.

Sarah Palin has shown us that she isn't all that smart. Sarah Palin has shown us that she doesn't belong in a position of power.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 06:51 pm
@blueflame1,
Ok, but what does this mean? She has to say "sorry?" Is this a legal finding that would in some way change anything? It doesn't even sound like the guy gets his job back or any compensation.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 06:55 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

Ok, but what does this mean? She has to say "sorry?" Is this a legal finding that would in some way change anything? It doesn't even sound like the guy gets his job back or any compensation.


I don't know what it will mean in the end, but two things stick out -

1st, Monegan probably has a case if he wants to sue for wrongful termination.

2nd, Palin is on record, many times, as saying that there was nothing to this whole thing and that nobody ever exerted pressure to fire Wooten at any time, let alone enough to fire Monegan if he wouldn't do it. The report put out contradicts this completely, finding that there was a concerted and wide-spread effort to harrass and fire the trooper, and that this contributed to her deciding to fire Monegan.

She never should have lied about it. If this guy really was such a scumbag, she would have been better off just brazening it out. But in her arrogance she has shown herself to be a liar. I can't imagine that this will be helpful to her electoral prospects at this point.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 07:02 pm
I doubt there will now be a criminal investigation of this despite the findings. But that's political. Were she not running for VP things may have been different.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 07:15 pm
@blueflame1,
Sounds like a slap on the wrist and nothing else as a penalty. Both sides will see this finding according to their own bias. Nothing gained, nothing lost.
blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 07:19 pm
@cicerone imposter,
It aint gonna win the indies over to McCain.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 07:24 pm
@blueflame1,
What she did was not criminal, but it was an ethics violation.

She is campaigning as a reformer. She has been attacking Obama'a honesty.
Now that she has been found to have violated the public trust, by abusing her powers as governor, she is no longer in a position to attack anyone else's character without looking like a complete hypocrite. She just lost her credibility. The pitbull just lost her fangs and is toothless.

Also disturbing in the report is the degree to which Todd Palin was involved in her administration and the access he had to staff members.

Here is a copy of the report.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/politics/20081010_TROOPER.pdf



kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 07:27 pm
Its not the crime but the cover up that gets you in trouble, and that stems from either arrogance or a sense of entitlement.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 07:40 pm
@firefly,
firefly, I thought there would be no penalty for her abuse of power, but that's left to the state's legislature. They can bring charges of impeachment or just a slap on the hand. With a republican legislature, we can almost assume nothing will come of it.
blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 07:52 pm
@cicerone imposter,
It tarnishes her reputation and especially as a reformer. She's no Maverick just another sleazy abuser of power like her hero Cheney and Bushie. She aint as holy as she pretended to be. And since McCain knew about this before he picked her it's a serious example of bad judgement on his part. It will be a big part of her legacy long after her 15 minutes of fame are up. And she will be a big part of his legacy. Palin sank McCain like a lead balloon. More importantly and most unfortunately together they exposed a very ugly and racist side of America and we'll be lucky if someone dont get killed before it's all over.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 08:00 pm
@blueflame1,
We know "all that," but that doesn't seem to phase those lock-step conservatives no matter what McCain/Palin have been saying. Her "reputation" was tarnished long ago; telling the crowds of her rallies that "Obama pals around with a domestic terrorist." She incites violence against Obama with no shame or fear of being rejected by the conservative parrots.
blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 08:16 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Yes we know "all that,". But now it's official. Historically recorded.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 08:44 pm
@blueflame1,
It's only "official" in so far as we know what Bush got away with. The tag "official" doesn't have much meaning under the republicans.
blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 08:50 pm
@cicerone imposter,
It's official as far as Palin history is concerned. It has nothing to do with Bushie's abuses of power which have not been officially acknowledged..
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 09:22 pm
@blueflame1,
I think everyone knew it was going to come down this way and this doesn't change anything for the folks who thinks she walks on water.
blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 09:36 pm
@engineer,
I didn't know what the outcome would be. And I bet it matters to some undecideds who may have gone McCain's way. Those are the votes that matter most at this point. It'll get some air play McCain would rather not have.
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 11:57 pm
Report--Excerpts from pp. 65-67:

CONCLUSION

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.

LINK





cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2008 03:43 pm
@Debra Law,
The MO for conservatives in most things they do is based on "fear." Can't blame them, because it works.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2008 03:49 pm
I am impressed that Alaska republicans bucked all of the pressure from McCain to keep quite, that those on the panel let the process continue ans went against Palin. Maybe steam rollers don't work as well in alaska as in the lower 48.
 

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