October 9, 2008

Alaska High Court Won’t Block Palin Probe

The Alaska Legislature's investigation into the so-called Troopergate incident involving Gov. Sarah Palin can proceed, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The state high court rejected an appeal by the Liberty Legal Institute and six Alaska state Republican legislators seeking to shut down the probe, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, is accused of abusing her office by firing Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan because he would not fire a state trooper, Palin's ex-brother-in-law, who was involved in a child custody dispute with the governor's sister.

Attorneys for the lawmakers argued that allowing the investigation to go forward would threaten their right under the Alaska Constitution to a "fair and just" investigation by the Legislature. They also argued that the legislative panel that authorized the probe lacked the authority to do so as well as alleged bias among legislators leading the investigation.

The Alaska Supreme Court's ruling upheld Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michalski's ruling last week that the conduct of the investigation did not violate the right to fairness.

A report on the matter is expected to be submitted Friday.