October 11th, 2008
09:09 AM ET
10 years ago

Palin denies abusing power in trooper case

Palin made her first comments Saturday since the ethics report was released.

Palin made her first comments Saturday since the ethics report was released.

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Sarah Palin on Saturday denied abusing her power or violating state law in the dismissal of Alaska’s Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, putting her at odds with the findings of a state ethics report that determined she did abuse her power as governor.

As the Republican vice presidential nominee departed her Pittsburgh hotel on Saturday morning, a reporter asked Palin if she abused her power in firing Monegan, which was the conclusion of the state investigator's report released late Friday.

“No, and if you read the read the report you will see that there was nothing unlawful or unethical about replacing a cabinet member," Palin responded before boarding her campaign bus. "You got to read the report, sir."

View the full report (pdf)

Palin had the authority to fire Monegan, but the report by former Anchorage prosecutor Stephen Branchflower concluded that she abused her power as Alaska's governor and violated state ethics law by trying to get her ex-brother-in-law, Mike Wooten, fired from the state police.

"Gov. Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda," the report states.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (996 Responses)
  1. HouseDiva

    And she wants more power than Cheney.....this would be funny if it weren't true.

    The only reason i don't want Palin to step down is because i don't want Obama to win by default.

    October 11, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  2. Enough CNN!

    If the panel said she was abusive but didn't break any laws, then what was the abuse charge based on? If not law, what?
    What is going on here?

    October 11, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  3. Mike

    She said:

    “No, and if you read the read the report you will see that there was nothing unlawful or unethical about replacing a cabinet member."


    The report ALSO says, basically, that she used her influence and power as governor to help her husband take out a personal vendetta against State Trooper Mike Wooten. It also explicitly states that this is a violation of a state ethics statute.

    Try and spin it however you want, Sarah. Tell your half-truths, and leave out the important bit. But the truth is, YOU BROKE THE LAW.

    And you even had the gall to release your own report before this one, clearing yourself of all guilt. I swear, when I saw that headline, I thought I was reading the Onion or some other satire news site. But no, there it was, right there on ABC News: "Palin Pre-Empts State Report, Clears Self in Probe".

    Governor Palin, your disdain for the rule of law and your dishonesty towards the people who trust you is *sickening*. You should be ashamed.

    October 11, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  4. Walt, Ohio

    Palin has proven to be just another fraudulent political hack who gained her position by abuse of power, favoritism, and malfeasance. McCain has shown the worst possible judgment in choosing her as a running mate. No wonder true conservatives like Kathleen Parker, and Christopher Buckley have shunned these neocon candidates.
    The recent demagogic tack of McCain/Palin, inciting the worse among us through fear mongering, while America suffers through its worst financial crisis ever, underlies how morally and ethically bankrupt the McCain/Palin campaign is and continues to be.
    Despite the fear mongering, Americans will vote for the candidate who will help relieve the current crisis, and that candidate is Barack Obama.

    October 11, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  5. Will, in Richmond, VA

    She can deny it all she wants, but the campaign has a serious black eye. This proves to me, as if I needed more proof, that Senator McCain could not have fully vetted this person.

    October 11, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  6. Reason


    October 11, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  7. Mack

    Palin should have fired him..This man let his trooper taser kids and threaten to kill people.He was also known to drive drunk.Palin is right.

    October 11, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  8. Mike M.

    You still abused your power Sarah – lawful or unlawful. You should step down as the VP nominee. You should not have been selected in the first place.

    October 11, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  9. Tony




    October 11, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  10. Lori

    This should go to reflect Palin's character. If she wants to talk about Obama's character, then this is a reflection of her poor judgment, poor leadership and poor character. We cannot trust a leader who abuses their power. This is worse than someone who served on a committee (which included both Republicans and Democrats) with Bill Ayers. See how God doesn't like dirty, Sarah?

    October 11, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  11. Rob

    you betcha she's a liar–who the hell believes her . time for you to go.. you betcha you can't be trusted

    October 11, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  12. wink my way to white house

    Hey Sarah - I betchya you didn't abuse the power.. you just misused the power!! I would like to reward you with a one way ticket to alaska!!! Why don't u justify yourself to your AIP members? I'm sure they will believe you!

    October 11, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  13. Kristine in Memphis

    We seriously cannot let this woman have the second most powerful position in the world. In her short 20 months as Gov., she has shown us what she is capable of doing if someone gets on her bad side.

    She should be asked to step down as Gov and nominee.

    She and McCain are scary.

    Obama/Biden 08/12

    October 11, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  14. Tony


    October 11, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  15. Charlotte

    I don't like any of my choices this year. I shall write in Hillary and hope for the best. This will be the worst election in history. I see Supreme Court written all over the place. It will be so close that fake ballots will be at the center of the turmoil.

    October 11, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  16. charles

    l read the report it says you abused your power. l can read it for you if you cant read. you should have read it first before telling others to read it. No way you can spin this one.it will follow you all the way to 4thNovember. You are not a reformer you are powerhungry and corrupt like all the otherones. potentially you could be worse than Cheney. No wonder you were crying for more powers for the vp. Lady you are a danger to our liberty.

    October 11, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  17. Patriot

    You got to read the report, Governor!

    October 11, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  18. AntiChrist

    The AntiChrists are Palin and Mccain because to stew so much hate in your rallies is shocking and very scary. This is not the right time to divide our great nation since we are at WAR overseas. I feel as though we are in Iraq and I am tooo scared to attend your rallies since I hate Hitler and the lynch mob that i would not dare step foot in your hate filled rallies. Palin, you are disgrace to all woman.

    October 11, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  19. darrell

    This is a character issue. I could care less if she broke any laws. the fact that she abused her power is enough to show there are flaws in her character. Soon enough Palin will be a footnote in history as one of the biggest flops in American politics.
    As an independent, the McCain/Palin ticket and their 'dirty politics' has done nothing more than solidify my vote for Obama.

    October 11, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  20. Linda

    Basically it states that she abused power because she let her husband use the phone in the governers office. This is obviously the Democratic legislator behind this one. Come on CNN, put this one online please. When Obama wins and I'm homeless because corporate America has no more faith in our government and I no longer have a job... I will be able to say to all the Koolaide drinkers that are blind to who Obama "really" is and who is "really" behind him...is I told you so. Small victory for having some intelligence unlike so many blind followers of Obama... Like someone said last night, if Obama tried for any other job in government with his connections, he would not be hired. Yet he's going to be our president. I hope everyone with money leaves the country if this happens, I would if I could..

    October 11, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  21. Xavier

    Palin did nothing wrong? Lets compare her actions to a bank that forecloses on a family who two years earlier they conned into getting a revolving morgage. They kick them out of the house, ruin the families credit and leave them homeless. They then take that same house and con another family and sell it again to make even more of a profit from the same house. Is it illegal? No, it isnt, but is it morally wrong? You bet it is! Palin might have been within her rights to fire commisioner Monegan, but she did it for the wrong reasons. If you are employed at a job, and get fired because you wouldnt help your boss carry out a vendeta that was morally wrong how would you feel? I am frightened by Palin's attitude. Does she honestly not see that what she did was morally wrong, or does she just not care.

    October 11, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  22. Chris from STL

    She needs to re-read the report. It clearly indicates that she abused her power and violated the ethical standards. This is a serious finding by a bipartisan panel.

    She is a cancer to American politics ....

    October 11, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  23. NC Voter

    "nothing unlawful or unethical about replacing a cabinet member". she says.

    That is correct but the problem is when you do it for personal gains.
    You go read the report cause that might be actually be the first thing that you have read in awhile.

    October 11, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  24. Erik

    This is a BIG issue, bigger than the foolish attempts to connect today's Obama to yesterday's Ayers. A bipartisan commission and independent prosecutor found Palin to have abused her power for personal reasons, a violation of Alaska state law. Will criminal charges be filed? WIll impeachment proceedings occur? Even if Alaskans lack the stomach to follow up, we as Americans should realize this woman does not have the ethical fortitude to stand ready to be President. Not to mention, of course, she's a little bit backward to serve admirably on the world stage.

    October 11, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  25. JB

    As per usual, for Republicans the truth is what they SAY it is and not what it REALLY is....Sounds like Sarah needs to read the FULL report!

    This is another example of the McCain/Palin ticket parsing words (as they do in their ads) to get the meaning they want. Ignoring the whole context and selecting a snippet that fits their viewpoint.

    Sarah Palin abused her executive powers, plain and simple....a greater person would admit their error and apologize and then allow everyone to move on.

    October 11, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
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