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. Independent Dave, Iowa

    I ain't never seen a self skinnin' moose before! Golly! Thanks fer pointin it out Freddie Thompson!

    October 10, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  2. Tom

    No surprise. Why would she fight so hard to suppress the report unless she knew what the findings were likely to show? Sara, you are a hypocrite and a liar. Please shut up and go away.

    Palin is a bully and has been all her political life. As mayor, she tried to force a librarian to censor books, forced a contract for an arena through her city council even though there was no clear title to the land it was to be built on, bullied lawmakers throughout her tenure as governor, fired Walt Monegan because she couldn't push him around, and is trying to bully the democrats and independents into supporting McCain (or at least to not support Obama).

    Obama and Biden ae right–you have to stand up to a bully. When you do, the bully is the loser. Nice going John. You really did a number on the American people this time. You used to be an honorable man–

    October 10, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  3. Grace Needed

    Based on this report, Alaskans should also be alarmed by Todd Palin's, First Dude's 50% time in the Governor's office. He is doing the work of the elected governor! This is why she spent so much time working from home and wasn't available to mayors and legislators. She was too busy hiding out from people that might discover she wasn't qualified for the job or couldn't answer their questions. Many people said she was always getting cell phone calls or writing emails during meetings and would tell them to proceed without her, probably because it was WAY over her head. She manipulated her way into being Governor and had not a clue what to do. She hired a city manager for Wasilla as mayor and still put them in debt to 22m. Todd may not have had a degree in journalism but he had more skill than her at being governor.

    October 10, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  4. Mr

    SAY IT AINT SOOOO!!!!!!!

    October 10, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    2002 uses for Duct Tape – Sarah Palin's Mouth

    October 10, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  6. A Joe six pack

    If she is abusive as governor what could we expect as VP

    October 10, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  7. Dori in AZ

    Palin's palling around with McCain and the boys has been a travesty. They must be the absolute worst Pres-VP ticket in history. No ethics. No honor. No truth. No defense.

    Decent Republicans everywhere must be feeling sick to their stomachs. I know most of the country is.

    Perhaps the RNC could disown them and save some face in this election. More and more Republicans are doing that by the hour....

    October 10, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  8. Angus

    I thought that abusing power as a state legistrator was criminal offence, however abuse of power (and her lack of experience) certainly makes her not a plausible vp or (god forbid) president.

    October 10, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  9. Linda, AZ

    "Caribou Barbie"

    LOL, thanks for making my day, Even Tempered.

    October 10, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  10. aware

    I just read the full report! This is ridiculous. 🙁

    Governor Palin's father filed a very appropriate complaint against the trooper but the confidentiality was so stringent that no one including Governor Palin could find out what was going on if anything! It went on and on and inquiries for information were mistakenly judged as pressure!

    Governor Palin and family are due an apology! This is not over by any means!

    So, on to the dems/Obama ACORN voter fraud! 🙁

    October 10, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  11. nate

    The game for the POTUS is over and the Repub's know it. Now all they are trying to do is incite hate and fear in order to try and keep from losing their shirts when it comes to Congress. The Repubs are afraid they will no longer be able to filibuster everything the Dems try to get accomplished. This is the main reason Congress sannot get anything done because the Repubs keep filibustering everything in sight. If the election goes as projected the Repubs will no longer be able to stop anything and the Dems can and will start to straighten this mess out. The Repubs are running scared right now because if this happens they know it will be a long long time before they have any say in anything

    CNN I know you will not post this because you only let certain people post. Show some guts and let all people post that are not inciting hate.

    October 10, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  12. Vanessa - voting from Japan

    The most important decision John McCain had to make before becoming President was choosing a running mate, a second in charge. In his own words, that person should be ready to be president on day one. He judged Palin to be such a person-before the completion of an investigation into allegations of abuse of power. ABUSE OF POWER!! Now we learn not only did she in fact abuse her power, but did not have control over her staff and husband who met several times without her knowledge and acted on information attained through those secret meetings on the behalf of the Governor's office and in the name of the Governor. As vice-president she will have a much larger staff charged with more seriuos and urgent matters. How does John McCain know she can handle it? More importantly how do we know she can handle it?

    John McCain has lost her bearings. He sees this as his last chance to be Commander in Chief and he will willing to pay any price to have it. He threw out good judgement and prudent thinking just to get a rise in his numbers. I do not trust his judgement. I do not trust Sarah Palin's integrity. This is a sad commentary on American politics.

    October 10, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  13. darren

    she didnt break a law so why did they hold an effin hearing?

    October 10, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  14. david

    Well...that pretty much means she's like George Bush too, doesn't it? Didn't necessarily break any laws, but abused her power. I suspect Alaskan's will vote her into the Senate for that...soon as Ted Steven's leaves.

    October 10, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  15. Rose

    So Sarah Palin abused the power of her office, violating state ethics by ENGAGING IN THE VIOLATION OF PUBLIC TRUST!!! What a hypocrite! Running around in rallies as the face of 'moral' authority questioning truth and judgement ? Unbelievable and shocking !!! And McCain knew of this investigation before he picked her but being so mavericky he chose her anyways! I"m soooo tired of the lies coming out of McCain/Palin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Palin – how to free-fall from a sensation to a liability!

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 10, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  16. Interested

    The Cat is out of the bag

    John McCain, you might as well be her next victim. Pundits have already started predicting her rise to prominence in the Republican party.

    I bet Sen McCain deeply regrets his decision. She will let this ticket down so she can resurface in the next election.

    Remember she suggested in her debate with Sen. Biden she would seek more power for the VP, even more than the most dangerous Cheney has as we speak.

    Now how dangerous is that?

    American you should wake up. By now you should have understood this game and please do not fall for it. If you think Obama is not your man, stay home and not vote for McPalin because it will be a monumental error – one you will live to regret and your kids after you

    October 10, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  17. Independent in America

    Not surprised by this in the least. I am so glad they finished the investigation before the general election was over. Please people do not elect someone who abuses their position of power. Thank you! Oh by the by...I wonder what her supporters think about this. Like others posted...this will probably be spinned. What a shame!!!

    October 10, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  18. Ann

    She is going to be the main cause of him losing the election. Why oh why did he make such a poor choice for VP? Ever since the RNC she has gone downhill – blunders, stupidity, inciting hatred at rallies, and now this....Come November 5th, his biggest regret will be having chosen her as his VP.

    October 10, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  19. Julian from Pittsburgh

    This is One amazing Week…That One name calling,The Mob Inciting,Terrorist Pallin,Erratic Behaviors,Wall STREET Worst week and now to top it all off..Pitbull Palin VIOLATED AND MISUSED HER POWER AUTHORITY!!!!WOW!OMG!Im feelin so MAVERICKY INSIDE..

    October 10, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |

    If Sarah Palin and Sean Hannity continue insight hate and fear into our beautiful country by accusing Obama of being a foreign terrorist, they should be tried for a HATE CRIME! McCain must SPEAK OUT LOUD over and over again against these types of talks. Otherwise, not only will he lose this election but ALL of his respect and honor.

    October 10, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  21. ac

    Good Riddens.

    Soon all we'll have to remember this wacko for will be the great comic material she provided for SNL.

    October 10, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  22. Betty

    Just think the Republicans worked hard to block this investigation until after the election. What else are they hiding? How about the Alaska Independent Party and the subversive group Mccain was a part of a number of years ago. If you can't stand the heat – get out of the kitchen.

    October 10, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  23. Michelle Marietta

    Palin abused her power.....sounds like Bush

    looks like Bush....smells like Bush....talks like Bush

    Oh My God, another Bush! God help America!

    Step down Palin, go home, and don't come back.

    October 10, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  24. What a Gal!

    I bet all those Hillary Clinton supporters are eager to rush right out and support a know-nothing woman who's been practicing favoritism in politics in her entire short career.

    Throw the bum out!

    Here's what the guys from Portugal. The Man, people who live in Wasilla have to say about lil' Miss Palin:

    "LA Times: I gather that, as a former resident of Wasilla, Alaska, you are not a Sarah Palin fan?

    PTM: Yeah, that’s a safe bet.

    LAT: What is it about her that you don’t like?

    PTM: Just everything that she represents. When she came into office, they made this big deal out of her firing all the corrupt people. So who gets the jobs that were just all opened up? It ends up, it’s all people from her church. They get the jobs at the hospital and they get abortion out of the hospital; [they] pretty much enforced their own rules. I’ll always be the first to say: we’re not a political band. We’re not into voicing opinions on things like this. It’s just—that’s our hometown."

    Get out of my election, you dirty, dirty RAT.

    October 10, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  25. Mike G - Toronto, ON, CA

    What a shocker!!!!! A Republican abusing power??? Who would have thought.

    October 10, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
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