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. james s roberts

    "Abuse of Power" Where have I heard that phrase before.

    Oh, that's right as least a dozen times with our current President,
    George W Bush, to foster a "fear society"; to permit the military, CIA, NISA, telcommunication companies to trample the laws contained in US Constitution, and Bill of Rights

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  2. Muz

    Didn't break the law because she had the authority to dismiss him? We already knew she had the authority that's how he got dismissed in the first place. This whole investigation was to determine whether she abused her power or not, and it was pretty pointless for the investigation to happen since abusing power is considered perfectly legal. How ridiculous.

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  3. Liz

    She "violated the public trust" according to the report. How does she have the gall to challenge Senator Obama's trustworthiness? This bimbo just gets more ridiculous by the day.

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  4. Gary

    Say it aint so Sarah, say it aint so. I like your lipstick pig and hockey pucks.

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  5. Jan in CA

    Interesting how she claims Obama cares more about ambition than the country. She is the one who has shown a willingness to violate the public trust. She has proven over and over that she does not care about being truthful and moral. i don't understand how the "religious" right can continue to support her candiacy for VP.

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  6. Double standards?

    Golly gee, Sarah ... "bad judgement"? This judgement was reached earlier today. Apparently McCain wanted to "block" the announcement until "after" business hours, so it wouldn't be news on Monday.

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  7. Mack

    "likely" is a maybe...Sarah Palin was found that her actions were "proper and lawful"..go read the truth. But while I am sure Obama supporters will jump all over this and make it into something it is not, the Trooper in question was a BAD MAN. Just like Ayers,Rezko and Wright are not hero's. So when you rake her over the coals, think how you would feel if an adult tasered your child and threatend to kill your father...Palin is great, this trooper got off easy, he still has his job by the way.

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  8. John in KY

    GO BACK TO ALASKA PALIN, Take Cheney on a hunting trip with you, birds of a feather flock together.

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  9. Dandelion.

    We cannot have this woman in office. She'll make Dick Cheney look like Ghandi.

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  10. RB from MD

    A VP candidate who abuses their power. What a novel concept? I wonder where she learned that from. Surely not from Mr. Cheney.

    If McCain is elected and Ms. Palin is the VP, I will not be able to sleep at night knowing she is a heartbeat away from the presidency and having the nucular (nuclear to most of us) codes. Her response to opposition is to eliminate them as quickly as she can. This is evident in numerous cases of her firing qualified officials and replacing them with unqualified friends who share her views. I am afraid she would launch an attack on another country in a moments notice. She is scary!!!

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  11. No Country For Old Men

    I just saw a McCain rally;
    I thought these people were from good Hoods.
    Now I see that McCain's people wear the Hoods.
    Red Republicans = Real Rage = McCain = Backward Racist Change!

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  12. Daria

    Wow! that"s all i can say

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  13. Nick


    Abusing power is part of the Republican Party platform.

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  14. slimsista

    oh sarah...say it ain't so!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  15. ron

    Trust – She is touting you can not trust Obama but now how can you possibly trust Palain or McCaain.

    You can not run on a platform and then decide it os OK for him but not for you.

    Trust her or McCain – no way no how!

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  16. CNN loves McCain

    Who IS Sarah Palin? Has she been honest with the American public abut her past?

    The answer is Sarah Palin has been wrongfully attacking Obama yet was proven to be a public servant that VIOLATED THE PUBLIC TRUST!

    What a joke!

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  17. Doc

    I knew this already that's why the McCain camp has been trying to keep a tight hold on this: SEE THATS WHY SHE WAS TALKING ALL THAT JAZZ AT THE DEBATE. About the possibility of increasing the vice presidential powers and all that. She will abuse that too if elected. I mean its not funny any more. The lady is uniquely and supremely not qualified to be vice-president. Neither is McCain for that matter he made the incredible mistake of picking her for the position. I feel sorry for the republican base
    who ultimately has to choose between doing the right thing or selling their minds-bodies-and souls. GOD BLESS AMERICA

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  18. S. Boatman

    This Woman Has No Room To Talk About Obama Not Being Trustworthy! Palin Has Violated The Peoples Trust By Abusing Her Power! She Should Be Removed From Office!

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  19. John Schaffer

    The Alaska Legislature's findings are a confirmation and a possible foretelling for her mis-use of office in the future, at the state and national level. Power seems to corrupt her and her husband, and the more absolute the power, thmore absolute the corruption.

    It appears that she migh well follow the path of VP Cheney, and she indictated in the VP debate that she envisions the powers of the VP Office as expandable.

    It would be wise of the Alaskan Legislature to rebuke her, her husband and their efforts. Perhaps this would be a lesson in energy for her...the limits and contorl of power.

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  20. Latino for Obama

    If Obama had done something like that, the republicans will be tearing him apart. We, as Americans, can not ignore the racism that is taking place in this presidential race. Republicans are desperate and are going to do and say whatever in order to not allow an African American become the next President of United States. Palin has no respect for herself. She is dirty and is obvious that she is unethical. Do you want someone like her a heart beat away from becoming your president? I THINK NOT!!!

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  21. Drew

    This is like announcing Clay Aiken is Gay....Everyone already knew this.

    October 10, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  22. nelda

    I wasn;'t surprised that she abused her power. Cheney has done the same thing, and I'm thinking that Palin will continue to do that if she becomes VP. That would be a GREAT mistake.

    October 10, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  23. Stu-Florida

    What Sarah wants, Sarah gets...
    and she claims Obama is putting ambition above country? This moron really needs to go shoot a moose after tossing back a 6 pack.
    Shame on mcCain for choosing her and not giving the citizens a fair shake at the elections.
    Go O and Joe!!

    October 10, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  24. bula bula

    This is good news!

    By the way when she was mayor, she fired some opposing local officials in Wasilla for so-called " bugdet problems". She consistently uses "budget problems" as reasoning to get rid of people who don't see eye to eye with her. Mainly because she's in cohort with the Alaskan Independence Party ~AIP. CNN, you should talk about the article on Salon's website. Her husband has AIP values through being a longtime member and he has a overwhelming influence on her policy decisions as mayor and governor. She has no room to talk about being un-American, she married to a Secessionist and in her own heart believes in the mission of the AIP.

    October 10, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  25. Heather, Cleveland, OH

    So she followed the proper procedure in the firing, thereby not breaking the law, but violated the public's trust by abusing her power.

    All you people who say, "I want someone just like me, a Joe Six Pack in the White House", well this is what you get – people like GW and Sarah Palin.

    Our public officials need to be held to a higher standard. They have so much more responsibility than your average Joe Six Pack.

    Sorry folks, she's done.

    October 10, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
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