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. Mark G

    Can't afford another VP that likes to abuse their power and then cover it up. We don't want four more years of that. She already thinks that she has more power than the VP really does...thanks to Chaney. Wow...it really would be another four years of the same.

    October 10, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  2. Jake145

    This just keeps getting better!!!!

    October 10, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  3. horace

    I'm not shocked, Just seeing Palin at rallies show she think she can say anything. McCain Did poor choose.

    October 10, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  4. S. Holt

    The truth will prevail. You can listen to her and know she is a pitbull. She called the shots in Alaska and stomped over people with the help of Todd. This is only one incident that she was caught in, thanks to the Safety commissioner that courage to stand up to Governor Palin. How many more bones does she have buried in Alaskan ice that will unthaw soon? Kudos to all the media that stayed with this big problem. Obama/Biden 2008 – stay on the issues. We need you...

    October 10, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |

    Beautiful Sarah was steam rolled by the obamadems because she exposed him as terrorist!!!!!!! She would be a great VP!!!!!

    October 10, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  6. Diane

    She never was believable.

    October 10, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  7. Allen in Hartwell, GA

    She'd obviously fit right into the Bush/Cheney mold of a chief executive for the country. I'd be surprised if the GOP doesn't decide to let her ru for the top and demote McCain to vice.

    We know from McCain's military record that the Navy didn't consider him fit for a leadership position, so why should the GOP.

    Palin for GOP nominee!

    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!!!!!

    October 10, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  8. rodeo

    In most of my interactions with local pols, they seem to get very good at the mean streets of politics before they develop an ear for carrying out the people's business. Game, set, match. McCain is done either if he dumps her or if he keeps her. I think he should dump her and get Romney–most Mormons that I know are honest, STRAIGHT shooting family men–which I guess would also provide the honor and character that McCain only pretends to have. He might have something interesting to say about the economy as well. Oh, I forgot, Romney has also been abused by McCain, and is no longer interested in going down with the mcCain ship...

    October 10, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  9. Charleston, SC

    Palin is obviously a woman of low moral character who do not have respect for her constituents. If she did- she would have respected the people of Alaska and her obligation to the people as being the governor. I feel as though she put her FAMILY FIRST in getting her ex-brother-in-law fired. This should be her campaign slogan instead of COUNTRY FIRST. I'm sure Alaska have other issues that need to be addressed instead of her running behind her ex-brother-in-law.

    I hope people will wake up and realize how much of a joke the McCain campaign really is. I bet McCain is regretting his decision to make her vp. Bet he wished he would have vetted her more...

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

    What??? You mean Palin is not God's gift to ...well...the world?

    October 10, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  11. Hope LV,NV

    For some reason I thought they would say she did nothing wrong. Nothing will probably happen to her. She will have to start arguing issues and not character at the rallies now.

    October 10, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  12. Dori in AZ

    Abuse of power? No kidding. Didn't break the law? Maybe on this one situation.

    But, there are over 700 pages of "confidential" material in that report. I imagine that there could be criminal actions included in that.

    Perhaps there will be an indictment of the dear governor awaiting her. And, one for Todd.

    October 10, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  13. ruty

    She abused her power as a gov. Impeach her.

    October 10, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  14. mitch

    we dont need anymore abusers of power. bush has done enough.

    October 10, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  15. Rob

    Her new Mary Tyler Moore hairdo is to hide her earpiece. They prompt her now since the Couric interviews.

    October 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  16. Smart Repubs for O

    10 Republicans and 4 Dems did this report.....Bipartisanship at its best!

    October 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  17. corey headley

    this woman will never be vp

    October 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  18. sam

    Say NO to another 4 years of Cheney Vice Presidency!!!

    That ONE, Biden '08

    October 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  19. Brian McNaughton

    I think this snippet of news is misleading in that it totally downplays the damage to palin and McCain's political careers.

    October 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  20. Missouri Mom

    Well that is exactly what we need, more people in power who aren't afraid to abuse it. Bravo McCain great pick. I guess she does get your base going though doesn't she. What does that say about your base? What does them screaming "terrorist" and "kill him" at your rallies say about your base? Let me tell you what it says to us in the real world, it says SCARY.

    October 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  21. Rob

    Dumb bimbo.

    October 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  22. j. day

    Barbie finally got caught. She thought she'd slip across the election deadline before they could catch her. But the good folks of Alaska aren't going to get intimidated by people from Campaign Central. They're very Minnesotan–just the facts, maam. She broke the law alright, and she's out there slinging mud against Obama, as if she's the holy one. What fiasco. J.Day

    October 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  23. 3 years old

    abuse of power. . . fear mongering . . . unqualified folksy babble. . . Palin is the best thing to happen to the Democratic Party this Year. . . I love her LOOK at the Polls from 9/10 on. . . The Palin Effect, SHE IS the Nail in the coffin.

    October 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  24. American Fatty

    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."

    – Branchflower report to the bipartisan Alaska Legislative Council, October 10, 2008

    October 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  25. Mickey J.

    Big frickin' surprise.

    October 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
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