Troopergate Report: Palin ‘Abused Her Power’
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A report released today finds that as Alaska governor, Sarah Palin “abused her power,” a specific violation of state law. The report is available in pdf here.
Palin was accused of firing the head of the Alaska safety commission, Walt Monegan, for not intervening in what amounted to a personal family feud. Evidence in the report suggests that Palin and her husband, Todd, pressured Monegan to fire their former brother-in-law, the state trooper Mike Wooten.
Though the report found that Palin was within the scope of the law in firing Monegan, that doesn’t mean she’s off the hook. The report says she knew “pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda..”
The report explains that Palin’s actions amount to a violation of the state Ethics Act. In fact, the case is “one of the very reasons the Ethics Act” was established.
The question now: what happens to Palin?
The chairman of the Legislative Council, Sen. Kim Elton (D-Juneau), told me in an interview shortly after the report was released that he has confidence in the integrity of the report. But he said that he is not prepared to start considering taking action against Palin.
“This is like ‘truth and consequences,”" Elton said, standing in a hallway of the Anchorage legislative offices where the report was released. “Today, I will say we got the truth. The facts are now in the public. I’m not prepared to go to consequences.”
The spokesman for the House Republicans, WIll Vandergriff, told me that nothing is likely to happen before the regular legislative session begins, on Jan. 20, 2009. He said it would take a supermajority of lawmakers, 45 House and Senate members, or an executive action from Palin’s office to hold a special session on this issue.
Update: Sen. Kim Elton (D-Juneau) was wrongly identified as a Republican when this post was published. We regret the error.