New report from the Alaska Personal Board has cleared Governor Sarah Palin in the firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. The report prepared by independent investigator Timothy Petumenos, goes on to say the investigator hired by the Legislature was wrong to conclude that Palin abused her power by allowing aides and her husband to pressure Monegan to dismiss her former brother-in-law.
From the Anchorage Daily News:
A new report, released just hours before the polls open on Election Day, exonerates Gov. Sarah Palin in the “Troopergate” controversy.
The state Personnel Board-sanctioned investigation is the second into whether Palin violated state ethics law in firing her public safety commissioner earlier this year, and it contradicts the earlier findings by a special counsel hired by the state Legislature. The board is set up in state law as an independent agency to hear complaints of violations of state ethics law brought against executive branch employees. Members are appointed by the governor, though Palin only had a role in appointing one of the three members.
Both investigations found that Palin was within her rights to fire Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. But the new report says the Legislature’s investigator was wrong to conclude that Palin abused her power by allowing aides and her husband, Todd, to pressure Monegan and others to dismiss her ex-brother-in-law, Trooper Mike Wooten. Palin was accused of firing Monegan because Wooten stayed on the job.
For the first time, the report says Palin specifically denies Monegan’s versions of events; specifically, she says two conversations that Monegan described having with her about Wooten never happened. Both Monegan and Palin made their statements under oath. Read the rest…
Democrats will of course call the Personal Board’s investigation biased but to anyone who has followed this case closely, the personal board’s finding isn’t at all surprising.