Breaking: Alaska Personnel Board says Gov. Palin violated no ethics laws in “Troopergate”

The Gov. gets some good news on the eve of the election:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CNN) — Alaska’s Personnel Board concluded Monday that Republican vice presidential candidate 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.

The Anchorage Daily News has more:

The state Personnel Board-sanctioned investigation is the second into whether Palin violated state ethics law in firing her public safety commissioner, and it contradicts the earlier findings by a special counsel hired by the state Legislature.

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 after Wooten stayed on the job.


The report, released at a Monday afternoon press conference at the Hotel Captain Cook, presents the findings and recommendations of Anchorage lawyer Timothy Petumenos, hired as independent counsel for the Personnel Board to examine several complaints against Palin.

Petumenos wrote the Legislature’s special counsel, former state prosecutor Steve Branchflower, used the wrong state law as the basis for his conclusions and also misconstrued the evidence.

His findings and recommendations include:

– There is no cause to believe Palin violated the state ethics law in deciding to dismiss Monegan as public safety commissioner.

– There is no cause to believe Palin violated the state ethics law in connection with Wooten.

– There is no cause to believe any other state official violated the ethics act.

– There’s no basis to conduct a hearing to “address reputational harm,” as requested by Monegan.

– The state needs to address the issue of using private e-mails for government work and to examine how records are kept in the governor’s office. Palin used her Yahoo e-mail account for state business until it was hacked.

Watch for The Usual Suspects to try and paint the Personnel Board as being stacked with Gov. Palin appointees. As I’ve noted before, it’s not.

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