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11-03-08, 08:24 PM #1
Probe: Palin did not violate ethics law
Palin didn't violate ethics law, 2nd probe finds
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CNN) -- Alaska's Personnel Board concluded Monday that Gov. Sarah Palin did not violate ethics law by trying to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from the state police, contradicting an earlier investigation's findings.
"There is no probable cause to believe that the governor, or any other state official, violated the Alaska Executive Ethics Act in connection with these matters," Timothy Petumenos, the Anchorage lawyer hired to conduct the investigation, wrote in his final report.
The announcement comes a day before Palin and Republican presidential nominee John McCain face voters in Tuesday's presidential election.
Allegations that Palin fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan in July because he refused to fire her sister's ex-husband, Mike Wooten, have dogged her since before she became the GOP's vice presidential nominee in August.
An earlier investigation launched by the state Legislature concluded Palin violated state ethics law by trying to get Wooten fired. The law bars public officials from pursuing personal interest through official action.
That first inquiry -- led by legislative investigator Stephen Branchflower -- also concluded that Palin's firing of Monegan likely stemmed in part from his refusal to fire Wooten, but that Palin's firing of Monegan was within her authority as governor.
Despite the conclusions of Branchflower's October 10 report, Palin declared that she had been "cleared of any legal wrongdoing" in the matter. Her attorney, Thomas Van Flein, argued the Branchflower report had wrongly interpreted state ethics law.
Though the governor originally agreed to cooperate with the Legislature's inquiry, she tried to stop the investigation once she became McCain's running mate -- and campaign aides attacked the investigation as a partisan circus that was being manipulated by supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Instead, Palin asked the Personnel Board -- an executive branch agency whose members were appointed by her predecessor -- to handle the investigation, arguing it was the proper legal venue.
Petumenos questioned Palin and her husband, Todd Palin, on October 24 about Monegan's removal from the commissioner's post, which oversees the Alaska State Troopers."never bring paws to a gunfight" - Jenna
11-03-08, 08:28 PM #2
A little too late to undo the damage unfortunately. But hopefully a few ears will perk up.
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11-03-08, 09:30 PM #3
Well its not going to get the press coverage the first report did due to the timing, but hopefully it will get across to some people...RIP Sarah Noll~11-8-87 to 4-17-08
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