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. BK

    Perhaps McCain needs to be careful with who HE has been seen "palling" around with.... Charles Keating, George Bush, and NOW, unethical Sarah Bailin.......

    October 10, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  2. Deborah A. Lawrence

    This is just another example of poor judjment on John Mcain's behalf.
    The Republicans are vicious and racist and will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who does not agree with them. Their rally's have turned into public lynchings and lies directed at Barack Obama.
    How American! John McCain should be ashamed of himself

    October 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  3. Ann

    So who's putting self above country? Who's got blind ambition?

    October 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  4. Citizen

    Everyone already knew that she was a lying airhead. So this is not news.

    October 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  5. A Weary Republican

    I really did want to vote Republican but when I imagine myself pulling that lever – well I love my country and MUST vote for the only honest candidate with integrity...the only one who has not turned to the ugliness just to win a campaign.......the one who I will be proud of to lead our beautiful country!...the only one standing who is the LEADER!...the one who has NOT abused his positions for personal gain as did Sarah Palin ....I wonder if she will have a job when she goes home....

    October 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  6. Perusing-Through


    This was a 'bipartisan' led legislature (mostly Republicans) that agreed to put forth this report acknowledging that Sarah Palin DID USE HER POWERS "ABUSIVELY" TO FIRE THE POLICE COMMISSIONER BECAUSE HE WOULD NOT FIRE PALIN'S BROTHER-IN-LAW!!!

    And take note of a very important fact:

    GOD Bless America!
    GOD Bless the Leadership of Obama-Biden!

    October 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  7. Renee/kc

    THIS IS A MESS!!!!!

    October 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  8. Indiana Joe

    Well, look who seems untrustworthy now? Who has benn involved in unethical behavior? Who was lying now? What was she saying earlier this week about Obama? Now someone please bring up her connections with the AIP. SHE'S A LIAR, NOT TO BE TRUSTED! Obama/Biden, the right ticket!

    October 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  9. barbara

    This would be funny if it wasn't so scary. She has been calling Senator Obama a liar all week. What goes around, comes around.

    October 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  10. Curtis - Marietta, GA

    Another thought. McCain/Palin have been saying that they are new politics and that they are honest. Well, well. This sure doesn't seem like new politics to me. Seems like the same old power hungry republican.

    So now, when McCain/Palin say that you should have reason to doubt Obama/Biden, that he is hiding something, feel free to tell them this. "LOOK IN THE MIRROR BEFORE YOU SPEAK, YOU JUST MIGHT BE TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF!!".

    October 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  11. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    McCain(Keating,Liddy)/Palin(Troopergate) have no right to say ANYTHING about ANYONE

    October 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  12. Mo

    You betcha!

    October 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  13. charles in missouri

    I am an independent, moderate black American. Until a few weeks ago i was still undecided but leaning toward the obama/biden ticket. John McCains erratic behavior; suspending his campaign, calling for a meeting with the president then being inactive and outshined by obama during that meeting, even his proposal that the government should buy bad mortgages and renegotiate, have proven to me that he isn't what this country needs at this moment in history. Even his stance against having 1 on 1 talks with leaders of "rogue" countries is amazing. Right now, this country needs a diplomat. And in Barak Obama i think we've found a man who can bring back the love and respect that our beloved country once had throughout the world. And now, Sarah Palin. I bet Mr. McCain is singing to himself that country song, 'what was i thinking'.

    October 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  14. Chicken Little's Hardhat Company

    If she is willing to abuse her power as governor of Alaska, then what's to say she wouldn't trample all over the Constitution if it was a matter of convenience.

    October 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  15. Karla

    Monegan should have fired the guy on his own way before he, himself was fired. This goes against his judgement as a PSC. How can a person of such stature be relied upon to protect the public when he can't see the wrong in a trooper drinking in his patrol car, tasering his child, illegally killing animals, and making death threats to the family of another public official??

    The report from the state legislature reeks of contradiction. If Palin "had the authority as governor to dismiss him", how is it that she "abused her power as Alaska's governor in the firing of her former public safety commissioner." But then, she "violated no laws".

    I am a registered democrat, and have decided this election is a joke. I am not voting at all. The trash in the alley runs deep on both sides, and i abstain.

    October 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  16. Bill

    OK, so she's corrupt, but not a criminal. Isn't that like smoking a joint, but not inhaling?

    October 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  17. liz, from MO



    October 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  18. no lnger trust Mccain

    She is just another politician who excuses herself for the same behavior she acuses other people of. She is not the woman of God that she claims to be as she continues to stretch the truth, mislead and lies.

    October 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  19. Ronald Ssmith

    Your headline is misleading. The committee did find that she violated the ethics law.

    Please correct it. We do not need misleading journalism from you.

    October 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  20. erma- va

    As far as I am concern when Palin abuse her power she betrayed the trust of the people of Alaska. What else is she hiding. I smell a cover-up.

    October 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  21. Digital Observer

    Just like our current VP (where is he anyway?), Palin certainly seems to have been picked to fit in Cheney's shoes.

    She think's Cheney's worst act was the duck hunting "situation" – wonder who she will pepper from a plane and now as confirmed by the legislative review, abuse of power – yep, nothing wrong with that.

    Why did McCain have to disinfranchise so many of those who support him? Can't he see that there are many like me who had to slam on our virtual voting brakes the moment he picked her as VP? Sure, she's not running for president, but look at the current administration – how different would the Bush administration had been with someone other than Cheney behind the scenes?

    Senator McCain – with all due respect Sir – you have forgotten what you're all about, what truly made you a maverick. Now you have people spewing out the word Maverick like it's a brand name, or worse yet, an entitlement. Because of that have you have lost many of your supporters who are tired of the same old Washington garbage. Now you're just another politician, like the rest of the foaming at the mouth, overpromising politicians trying to peddle the presidential campaign hot potato.

    Now all your rallies, particularly those with Governor Palin, are full of hatred, some where people can be clearly heard yelling things like "kill him" in reference to Senator Obama. Is this what the McCain campaign supports?

    The numbers keep slipping and here we are a few weeks away from the big day. Will the real Senator McCain please stand up? We're looking for you but can't seem to find you...

    October 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  22. Can we Vote now???

    Its time for the McCain Palin ticket to concede. They are trying to attack Obama's character and her state legislature (bipartisan committee) just found her UNETHICAL!!!!!!???? This is incredible! She is scum!

    October 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  23. Demi

    Yes! more wrong doing from the McCain/Palin.

    Go Barack and Joe! You guys are the ones!

    October 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  24. Dave in Illinois

    Rant, Rant, Rant. The same people would have claimed to be outraged if she didn't want to get the trooper fired. Then it would have been a conspiracy to protect the ex-brother-in-law by ignoring his actions.

    Col. Julia Grimes, then head of Alaska State Troopers stated "The record clearly indicates a serious and concentrated pattern of unacceptable and at times, illegal activity occurring over a lengthy period, which establishes a course of conduct totally at odds with the ethics of our profession,"

    October 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  25. will

    That why Mccain change his tone about obama because he was tipped off.

    October 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43