ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CNN) – Aides to Gov. Sarah Palin won't comply with subpoenas issued by state lawmakers investigating the firing of Alaska's former public safety commissioner, since Palin "has declined to participate" in the probe, her attorney general says.
"As state employees, our clients have taken an oath to uphold the Alaska Constitution, and for that reason, they respect the legislature's desire to carry out an investigation in support of its law-making powers," Attorney General Talis Colberg, a Palin appointee, told the investigation's manager in a letter released Wednesday. "However, our clients are also loyal employees subject to the supervision of the governor."
Palin once pledged to cooperate with the state Legislature's investigation into the July firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. After his dismissal, Monegan accused Palin of trying to pressure him into firing her ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper who had been involved in an
acrimonious divorce from the governor's sister.
Palin has denied any wrongdoing, and her advisers said this week that Monegan was fired for insubordination after he continued to press for funding for projects the governor opposed.
Her allies argue the investigation has become a "partisan circus" since she became Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain's running mate, and they argue that any investigation should be handled by the state Personnel Board.
"Moreover, two lawsuits have been filed challenging the legitimacy of the investigation," Colberg wrote. "On behalf of our clients, we respectfully ask that you withdraw the subpoenas directed to our clients and thereby relieve them from the circumstance of having to choose where their loyalties lie."
It was unclear whether the letter covered Palin's husband, Todd, who was among those subpoenaed by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Colberg's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The letter was sent to Sen. Hollis French, the Democratic chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee, which approved the subpoenas last week. Palin's allies have blasted French over comments he made to ABC News in early September, warning that the investigation into Monegan's firing could yield an "October surprise" for the GOP ticket in the form of criminal charges.