November 4, 2008

New Report Clears Palin of Ethics Charge

A state Personnel Board report released Monday afternoon cleared Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin of charges she broke a state ethics law by firing her top cop.

The ruling contradicted the earlier findings issued by the state Legislature's special counsel, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Palin, who is the Republican U.S. vice presidential candidate, had come under investigation for allegedly terminating state Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan for refusing to fire a state trooper who was her ex-brother-in-law.

While both investigations ruled Palin was within her rights to dismiss Monegan, the state Personnel Board report said the Legislature's investigator wrongly concluded the governor abused her office by allowing aides and her husband Todd to pressure Monegan and others to dismiss Trooper Mike Wooten. Palin was accused of firing Monegan after Wooten stayed on the job.

Palin argued Wooten deserved to be fired for using a stun gun on his stepson, drank beer in his squad car and threatened Palin's father.