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. mb

    This country has had enough of abuse and power ,mccain and his camp should insist that palin withdraw from this election.

    God help us if palin/mccain win this election, because todd palin will be running the USofA.

    October 11, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  2. Wise White Guy

    Yeah her credibility is so high since she has been so truthful about everything. Oh I am sorry that has been Joe Biden. About 90 percent of what she says is complete BS so I think I will trust the ruling especially since she fought it every step of the way. New face same old politics from the Republicans. We cant have more of the same this time around.

    October 11, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  3. Amber, VA

    Sounds very much like Gonzo-Gate.

    October 11, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  4. A man of Conscience

    You can run but you cant hide... things will get pretty ugly now...Mc Same is now regretting picking her for the job...


    October 11, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  5. Zion

    Just like you denied that bridge to nowhere even though you are on tape supporting it...

    Say it ain't so Palin...There you go again (Wink)

    October 11, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  6. Rodger

    After reading the complete report(concured by 10 Republican and 4 Democrat legislators) I'm surprised no criminal action was taken.
    Abuse of power and ethics violations may not have legal charges in Alaska, but she should be impeached!!! Alaska deserves better than a confirmed liar and America needs to know what kind of a woman has been nominated for Vice President and could be President of our country. It is a reflection on John McCain's judgement and the morals of the Republican Party to have as their candidate. Do they remember the same charges led to the impeachment of Richard Nixon. These lack of adherance to good moral ideals are the same we have had in the last 8 years of the Bush Presidency. The American people deserve better!

    October 11, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  7. John S

    Palin, you are a liar. This trooper fiasco was over two years ago and it was investigated and he was suspended by his peers. You fired Monegan, because he would not bend to your whim because he knew what you were trying to do was wrong. And don't be surprised now that the truth is out, that you get sued for illegaly dismissing someone for the wrong reasons. Also, if I know Alaskans, and I do know some, don't be surprised there is a big move to have you impeached for your abusive behavior of government office.Alaskans are in an uproar over this and more and more people will demand your head. Your numbers are dropping quicker than the tempeture up there and you better get yourself a good lawyer. Oh btw Sarah. I have just one question of you. Would you please answer this. Who paid for the helicopter and the gas while you were shooting wolfs from the air? I know for a fact someone is now looking into that very thing in your state. Good luck on trying to keep your job when you get back there after Nov. 4. I would get your resume ready if I were you because I don't think your going to be keeping that govenors job for too long.

    October 11, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  8. Ready for Change in 2008

    I wonder if she has even bothered to read the report. When you violate the ethics law, then that means that you acted "unethically." Apparently she does not understand this. And allowing her husband to have so much authority during her administration makes me question her judgment even more. She stands there and rants about Obama day in and day out, questioning his morals and ethics, while she and her husband are using her position to avenge a personal vendetta. I am just waiting for the claims that this is a political "witch hunt." However, since the investigation had begun well before she was selected as McCain's running mate and the panel was bipartisan and the vote was unanimous--that argument goes out of the window. This concerns me a lot more than this garbage about Ayers and Wright. As far as I am concerned, this has direct bearing on her fitness, or should I say UNFITNESS to serve as vice-president, president, governor, or mayor of anything.

    October 11, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  9. Seth

    So, an independent prosecutor set forth on his investigation by a bi-partisan commission submits a report that says she clearly abused her powers. This report is reviewed by a committee with 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats and they come to the same conclusion. So most people who aren't kidding themselves realize she did this.

    I'm not so much upset that she did it, I am disappointed that Palin speaks daily about the importance of morality, ethics, etc. and then doesn't admit and apologize for doing her own unethical action, It makes her seem incredibly disingenuous.

    October 11, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  10. Carrie Pa

    Palin and her husband need to go back to Alaska! I can't wait until November when Obama/Biden win. Then, we don't have to hear about this idiot.

    October 11, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  11. Saad, NJ

    can we move on to another subject... this is so boring! Palin is accused of abusing power, Palin denies it. This is no not intersting anymore. I would rather hear something about Cheney. It is that bad!

    October 11, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  12. RyanM

    “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."

    Well then, what exactly did the report say again?

    "For the reasons explained in section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) provides the legislature reaffirms that each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust."

    Maybe she needs to re-read the report with someone there who understands the basics of reading comprehension?

    October 11, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  13. Mike

    Her weak denials aside, she most certainly did abuse her power. This only tells us what the majority of us have already concluded about the shallowness and hypocrisy of this woman.

    But the bigger lesson in this is what it confirms about McCain. How can he possibly defend his choice of Palin as having been fully and intelligently vetted and focused on putting the country first? If one could not do it before, one can see right through him now!

    October 11, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  14. DG

    Does anyone see a theme here? Abuse of Executive power while Govenor of Alaska...suggestion during the debate that there might be a broader role for VP of the United States even though Constitution spells out what the VEEP's role...

    October 11, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  15. Garp

    »Sarah Palin=Wonderful Lady=Clever lady=Strong leader=Our next Vice-President.

    October 11, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  16. Juan Grain

    This reafirms my thoughts that she really is not a different kind of politician. She is a thug with lipstick, and kicked out the other thugs just like gang/turf warfare. But her strong arm was Todd Palin. Someone that Alaskans did not elect and had NO business pressuring state employees in the name of the government, with State resources. A CLEAR ABUSE OF POWER. If he did it with this case, why should i believe that this is all he was involved in???

    So does anyone in their right mind actually think that she can be trusted with the VP or the Presidency???

    And does anyone in their right mind actually think that she can be trusted over Senator Biden???

    I have heard some folks saying they needed a sign.

    Well, here it is. Make the choice that is best for America & the World, elect Obama/biden for President.

    October 11, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  17. morganstate

    The report clearly states that she abused her power. How is she going to lie herself out of this one? If she admits that she was wrong I could have a little respect for her. She is not fit to be the Vice President!

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 11, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  18. Eleanor

    As usual a high profile person gets a slap on the wrist for something an average person would be charged with
    Palin is not fooling anyone
    I have done my research on this woman and she is not *intelligent*
    Her interviews with Courric made this more apparent
    she is savvy maybe in a mean vindictive way
    I surmised this by realizing her reaction when she incited the crowds to violence and racism and she grinned while it was happening
    She has bit the hand of many people in alaska by firing them as soon as she had power!
    Definitely not anyone you would want as VP let alone president
    Americans who are caught up in her popularity need to do their research!!!!!She revels in being in the crowds and sucking up the limelight
    She will be far worse than cheney!!!!
    Its very pathetic that the candidate for president John McCain is not popular enough to get crowds on his own.It suggests that people are voting for these two on her popularity!!
    America better hope they get Obama and Biden voted in
    Be better Americans and look past the color of a mans skin
    Senator Obama is level headed ,cool and very intelligent with excellent judgement!!!

    October 11, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  19. BJGT

    Good bye, Sarah. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    October 11, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  20. bruja


    October 11, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  21. Sarah

    May be that is the reason the tone of McCain yesterday was different...
    He knows now he is vulnerable...I thouhgt he is a man of good judgement...Ooooooops

    October 11, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  22. CBA1999

    This woman continues to be an embarressment to the GOP. Her original appeal now seems like yesterday's ice water. Aside from this relatively benign issue of "troopergate," her lack of substance is most frightening. I always have to laugh when people say they want to vote for someone because "they seem like someone I could have in my house or share a beer."

    Personally, I want the smartest person to lead. Palin has a communication degree from three different colleges. How does that qualify her for a leadership position? She is hardly capable of solving this very complex economic crises.

    Lately, the most disturbing part of her stump speech is the continued incitement of the "Joe Six-Pack" crowd where we have heard "terrorist" and "kill him" shouted back to Palin as she continues her stretch of the truth. Once again, the Rovian politics of destruction and division continue to divide our country. This time it won't work.

    October 11, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  23. Allen

    Of course she denies it. She denies she falsified her Tax returns too but the IRS is investigating and we shall see. Palin has a long history of nasty personal vendettas and abuse of power. In Wasilla she fired every department head because they might be friends of the previous Mayor.Then she fired the Librarian because she would not ban books that Palins extreme church objected to. As Governor she fired many good people and replaced them with her unqualified high school cronies. This is just not a very nice or very bright woman.

    October 11, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  24. Jose A Rodriguez Lugo

    Who would expect to hear anything different from Sarah Palin ? After all does she really know the meaning of Ethical ?

    October 11, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  25. Cheryl

    24 days, count 'em folks, till Gov. Air-Head is sent packing back to the Alaskan hole she crawled out from under. Buh-bye and good riddance, you ignorant, unethical, hateful moron.

    October 11, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
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