July 21st, 2009
07:11 PM ET
5 years ago

Palin defense fund may be unethical, investigator says

Gov. Sarah Palin may have violated state ethics laws.
Gov. Sarah Palin may have violated state ethics laws.

(CNN) – Outgoing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin may have violated state ethics laws by letting supporters set up a legal defense fund to help her battle ethics complaints, a preliminary report on the issue has found.

An investigator hired by the state personnel board recommended Palin - who gives up her office on Sunday - refuse money from the defense fund and ask the state to pay legal fees for ethics complaints that have been dismissed.

Palin attorney Thomas Van Flein said that the report is not final, however, and he is preparing "supplemental information" for the investigator. Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2008, cited the cost of battling ethics complaints from her critics as one of the reasons she is giving up her office about two-thirds of the way through her term.

Most complaints have been dismissed, though one led to her paying back taxes on state per diem funds, and she agreed to repay about $8,100 in travel expenses for her children in another case.


Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Debbie Jo from Kokomo

    ... the plot thickens.

    July 21, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  2. GOP = 21st century dodo

    Today's GOP: adulterers, racists, dimwitted quitters

    July 21, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  3. Aunt Bea and Opie

    We all know republicans live at a higher moral ground.This must be a fabrication of the MSM,those evil drivebys,as Limbaugh would say.

    July 21, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  4. Grrr-awful-o

    There is a more significant ethical question in play here than this one. Palin has already been exonerated of about a dozen previous ethics charges. There are three more charges still in play. Is it ethical to try to drive someone broke by keeping them in court, paying their own defense, perpetually? The people who are trying to break Palin have more money than she does, alone. I think this article fails to acknowledge that.

    July 21, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  5. Cynthia

    Sorry just have to get this off my chest,
    Why is Lou Dobbs on CNN? Shouldn't he be on Fox news? All he dose is say negative things about our President all the time. He never ever has anything nice thing to say. He brings his radio station to the television screen... When he comes on I turn the channel and I never turn it back to CNN for the rest of the night. His audience must be all elderly I don't get it. You’ve lost me

    July 21, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  6. aCorNN watchdog

    Nice try CNN.......This is why Palin is leaving Alaska......to take away YOUR ability to cherry pick negative stories, just like you are doing here...headline ethics complaints.....bury the dismissal of those complaints

    July 21, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  7. DB25

    What else is new? This lady does whatever she feels like doing, doesn't matter if it's legal, ethical, or makes any sense whatsoever.

    July 21, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  8. sbkilb Ct

    Now there is a suprise!!!! I knew there was more to it in her resignation as Gov. Now all you religious right -wing conservatives.. start defending her on this one!

    July 21, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  9. Moderate Democrat

    She's a socialist. She wants everyone to help her out. Do something for yourself lady. Stop depending on others to pay your bills. Get a job, or atleast keep the one you had rather then mooching off other people.

    Typical republicans: sponging off those who work!

    July 21, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  10. Republicans Suck

    I cannot wait to see how many Republicans whine about this. They only care about themselves and not the American people. That is why the GOP has NO ideas on health care. Heck the Leader of the RNC can't even name his health insurance provider. What gives Republicans?

    July 21, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  11. David Thomas

    Sarah is irrelevent. She is a moderately successful governor who quit when the going got tough. If she has ethical issues, who is really very surprised?

    July 21, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  12. windrider

    If Palin felt that she was obligated to pay her legal fees, instead of the State, why didn't she take the time and effort to set up a legal, ethical defense fund? Almost all the ethics investigations against her have involved questionable judgment and/or conduct on her part. Why does she keep shooting herself in the foot over and over again? Yes, her adoring base will support her no matter what, but she cannot win a national office outside Alaska (and maybe not even there as even AK Republicans seem fed up with her), she HAS to draw major support from moderate Republicans (the few who haven't been excommunicated from the party yet) and independents. "The Base" is simply not big enough and not national enough to win a national election, Palin's beauty and charm notwithstanding. It simply makes her look like more of a ditz than ever to keep making these kinds of amateurish mistakes.

    July 21, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  13. Joe C

    And who is surprisd: Palin is a scheming, manipulataive, egocentric, attention-seeking. She says she's quitting for her beloved state and her family, but she proves the opposite when she also says she will be jetting around the country speaking with the funds collected for this so call defense fund. How is this quitting for your kids?

    Sarah is very unethical and this crap had started before she had appeared on the national stage but of course it's someone else's fault according to Palin.

    July 21, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  14. Chris in Va.

    Mrs. Palin is an insult to my intellegence. Her existance in the realm of politics and in a leadership role is completely unethical in itself.
    Richard Milhouse Nixon was correct......the uneducated will vote for "a looker".

    July 21, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  15. No Incumbents 2010

    Palin can do no wrong in my book because of her beautiful mind. She is not ashamed to say she believes in small government. In 2008 with charisma galore Palin aroused an adoring pubilc when she energized the McCain campaign. Now she has moved to a higher calling to share her exciting vision, and in the process, has captivated the attention of the entire nation. We can't get enough of her! She is the kind of true public servant you would enjoy having at your house for dinner or even a sleepover. Now she is unstoppable for 2012.

    July 21, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  16. IQ test required for all VOTERS!!!

    Is there NO END to the CORRUPTION of the GOP!!!!

    July 21, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  17. Marc

    I love Sarah. Beautiful and fun unlike few have been in so long. I say let's pay it. Might as well, we are spending so much on so little!

    July 21, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. daunt

    you betcha!!!

    July 21, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  19. Kirby Hartford

    The AP story on this matter says Washington lawyer John Coale assisted Palin in setting up this fund. Coale is the husband of Fox News commentator Greta Van Susteren.

    July 21, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  20. Heidi

    So it finally comes out....I was wondering when someone was going to bring this up. Sort of sounds to me like a good reason to resign..getting money that she wasn't supposed to and all. Poor poor Sarah..she might have to get a real job if she has to give all that money back. Poor her...maybe someone needs a good sports reporter. She can do the commentary at the next Iron Dog ..giggle.

    July 21, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  21. Don

    Pathetic neat picking..... Obama house buying has ever investigated...
    It seems terribly political and people have noticed!

    July 21, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  22. Four and The Door

    Okay, let me get this straight...the State of Alaska personnel board investigator is saying Sarah Palin should make the State pay legal bills for fighting these frivolous ethics complaints instead of paying them from private donors? Maybe they think the State should pay back the RNC for her 2008 campaign wardrobe too? I understand now why she is moving on to better things and not wanting the State to get caught up in these fools tripping over themselves trying to discredit her. Some people do not know how to act around a genuinely powerful woman.

    July 21, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  23. pam Eugene OR

    I need to say I am an avid supporter of our President and I will take this time to say this is my last post regarding ex-governor Palin. She is so pathetic that it is not even any fun to pick on her any more. She has placed herself squarely in the "victim's chair" and will never see how void she is of any regard for anyone except Sarah Palin. She has used and exploited her family for financial gain and political power. I don't think as a woman and a mother she could sink any lower.
    She is a hillbilly and forever belongs with the Jerry Springer crowd. I will say good bye to you ex-governor Palin and I hope and pray other CNN posters will do the same. The only way to force CNN to STOP talking about ex-governor Palin is if we stop responding.
    So don't post to say "oh God another Palin story" or "why is CNN still writing stories about this idiot", just STOP responding and CNN will get the message. Sarah Palin, Mark Sanford, Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, and Ensign are all history and CNN needs to let them die a natural death.

    July 21, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  24. Liberal4Obama

    Sarah Palin might wanna stick to pageants, no ethics to worry about there.

    July 21, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  25. Democrat with a heart

    Please leave Sarah Palin alone. The woman deserves a break from all that bashing.

    July 21, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
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