October 10th, 2008
08:21 PM ET
14 years ago

Report: Palin abused power, violated ethics code in trooper case

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/10/art.palin03.gi.jpg caption="Report: Palin ‘abused her power’"] ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CNN) - Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin abused her power as Alaska's governor and a violated state ethics law by trying to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from the state police, a state investigator's report concluded Friday.

"Governor 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.

View the full report (pdf)

Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan's refusal to fire State Trooper Mike Wooten from the state police force was "likely a contributing factor" to Monegan's July dismissal, but Palin had the authority as governor to sack him, the report by former Anchorage prosecutor Stephen Branchflower states. However, it states that her efforts to get Wooten fired broke a state ethics law that bars public officials from pursuing personal interest through official action.

Monegan has said he was fired in July after refusing pressure to sack Wooten, who had gone through an acrimonious divorce and custody battle with Palin's sister. Palin and her husband, Todd, have consistently denied any wrongdoing, describing Wooten as a "rogue trooper" who had threatened their family - allegations Branchflower discounted.

"I conclude that such claims of fear were not bona fide and were offered to provide cover for the Palins' real motivation: to get Trooper Wooten fired for personal family reasons," Branchflower wrote.

Full story

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (1,073 Responses)
  1. Lee

    This is a great way to kick off your political career. I am sure tomorrow we will hear more of her "everyone is picking on me" excuse.

    My question is:

    Who is the real Sarah Palin?

    October 10, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  2. Pat

    Palin is a nightmare to women with common sense.

    October 10, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  3. RO

    So on top of the ticket McCain is like Bush, and now we find out it's more of the same at the bottom of the ticket too! Vote republican for more of the same.

    October 10, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  4. Kris in Denver

    So, folks, what else do you think McCain/Palin are lying to you about? Palin violated the public trust, as codified in statute. Where I come from, violating a state statute is breaking the law. Palin's pathetic attempt to 'clear' herself with her own report was so laughable. Do you really want the guy who couldn't be bothered to vet her in the first place to be our President?

    October 10, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  5. Matt

    A bipartisan panel led by a senior Democrat.

    This report is a farce. You people buy this crap but don't care/look into Obama's campaign contributions from foreign sources, from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, from/to ACORN.

    You get the government you deserve.

    Prepare to be ruled– not governed by a leftist.

    October 10, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  6. Kimberly, Raleigh, NC

    What, WHAT is wrong with this picture?

    This woman (and yes, though I am one, I hesitate to even claim this much kinship with her) is abusing her power of the 2nd smallest (in population) state to further her own twisted family agenda – of a family that makes soap operas seem tame by comparison.

    She is coming as close as possible to inciting riots in her campaign stops as she can without outwardly breaking the law, and she does this all with a wink, wink, nudge, nudge mentality that makes me shudder at the thought of Monty Python politics.

    McCain, I've admired and respected you for many years even though our politics diverge, but after this recent spate of bad judgment, and worse, lack of preparedness in choosing a running mate, I think it's time to bow out with whatever grace you can still muster.

    October 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  7. John S

    Very very serious offense. This is a very very good reason to impeach Sarah Palin. What was John McCain thinking of and who did the vetting of this woamn if there was any vetting done at all.

    October 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  8. Please...The Truth Hurts!!!!! Enough Said!!!!!

    Public employees may not use their positions for personal gain or to
    give an unwarranted benefit or treatment to any person. For example,
    public employees may not:
     use their official positions to secure employment or contracts;
     accept compensation from anyone other than the State for
    performing official duties;
     use State time, equipment, property or facilities for their own
    personal or financial benefit or for partisan political purposes;
     take or withhold official action on a matter in which they have a
    personal or financial interest; or
     coerce subordinates for his/her personal or financial benefit.
     attempt to influence outcome of an administrative hearing by
    privately contacting the hearing officer.

    October 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  9. George Bush

    Things do not look good at all right now for McCain. This election is already over.

    October 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  10. Democrat in Colorado Springs

    I'm pleasantly surprised and more than amazed that they were actually able to come out with their findings before the election! Hopefully now more Americans will see the truth of the republican ticket... they don't represent God or country.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  11. Terry B.

    It is okay when THEY do something wrong for it is of course the result of bitter partisan political retribution however "that guy over there" must be accused and swift boated of being an arab and a terrorist in the righteous name of the partisan GOP.....

    October 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  12. anybody anywhere

    Nothing will happen to her. If you read the report, it's a joke and at worst she'll be rebuked. The problem is – she is also a joke. This was the wrong pick for McCain from the onset regardless of picking up the chick vote. This report will be debated for a few days and I'm sure O'Bidenma will spin the living hell out of it to their advantage but I don't think McCain was going to win anyway. McCain would be better off dropping her and grabbing a more familiar popular face but then again the voters should have done that during the primaries.

    October 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  13. Brian

    Little miss, little miss, little miss can't be wrong.

    Best vote for "That one"

    October 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  14. Nija

    I guess McCain put the country first this time.

    October 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  15. proud army navy mom

    Palin takes the cake for sleaze and sham.

    She plants her vile rhetoric like roadside bombs, when in reality her own life is filled with domestic terrorists.

    This woman is dangerous and criminal. How could anyone be so blind as to support her?

    October 10, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  16. aware

    The good old boys like to stick it to a woman who confronts them! 🙁

    Now you hypocritical Obama fans just get in line and join the obfuscation and truth twisting! 🙁

    October 10, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  17. RaineyDay

    I'm gonna need Sarah to revise that stump speech to remove the words, judgement, ethics, reformer, ambitions and any other dig she has at Sen. Obama. She is NOT qualified to attack anyone!

    From here on out she should introduce McCain at the rallies and stand in the back like Cindy.

    October 10, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  18. What's Next

    Hi everyone,

    This is what is going to happen next. McCain is going to use this opportunity to get her to step down. Replace her with someone more qualified so he can get those votes back that he lost when people found out she was really stupid & believed seeing Russia gave her foreign policy credentials. But he also run the risk of looking really really unstable than he already has. Watch & see what is next. It will be interesting. But for all of Obama supports, remain stead-fast & support him on Nov 4, 2008. We got to get out of this mess.......Peace & Love to all.

    October 10, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  19. Tucson for Obama

    She did abuse her power, FIX YOUR HEADLINE!!!!

    October 10, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  20. sd

    i have never seen a ship sink quicker than mccain/palin!

    -a canadian resident/obama fan.

    October 10, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  21. Voter

    Palen abused her powers as Governor. She thought she would get away with it that is why she said in the debate she thought the VP should have more power. If the American people vote her in as VP she will continue to think she is above the law and untouchable. It has to stop now. McCain knew today she was that it would not be ruled in her favor that is why he did the about face regarding Obama at his rally today. My guess is McCain will recind her as the VP choice and renominate someone else.

    October 10, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  22. Larry, Hazleton, pa

    Seems strange to me that the Palin supporters are crying foul with this report when it was approved by a committee of 10 repubs and 4 dems – if it such a witch hunt then why didn't her own party members support her?

    October 10, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  23. David in Illinois

    Of course Palin and McCain will say it was a "kangaroo court." Because, remember, they are above the law. And they don't have to answer questions, not from investigators, not from the evil media.
    Is there any surprise that Sarah Palin abused power??? "That one" is just a law-abusing fraud.

    October 10, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
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