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. Bill

    . . . And she's white like me.

    Obama / Biden 08.
    Democrats 08.

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  2. Bud

    Reformer my a–! Cya Mcpalin!

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  3. josh

    Abusing power ..... legal or not, equates to bad character. What a hypocrite?!?!?!

    GO OBAMA/BIDEN 2008!!!!

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  4. Allan from Torrance CA

    This trooper of this controversy is bad news is my opinion that he is a binge drinker that turns into a regular Mr. Hyde when he drinks. He's had several failed marriages, tasored his own son, threatened the governor's family in a Clintonian way said that he has never had a bottle of alcohol near his squad car. (Doesn't mean he wasn't drunk in the car) that has no business carrying a badge and a gun.
    If a governor of a state cannot use their power to remove such a dangerous menace to society then we're all in trouble. This guy will end up killing somebody and thank you Gov. Palin were trying to do something about it.

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    What kinds of powers would she abuse as Vice President, or as possibly President. They ask who the real Barack Obama is, he has been thoroughly vetted for 20 months during the campaign. We've only known her for 6 weeks and we cannot get to know her because of the tight lease the McCain campaign keeps on her. Who is the real Sarah Palin?

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  6. Ghost

    LMAO guess she did have something to hide

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  7. Rash

    I think she should be removed from the GOP ticket. It is hurting McCain GOP...Period.

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  8. Sam

    Wow, just shocking.

    This wouldn't be nearly as much of a big deal if the McCain campaign HADN'T TRIED TO SUPPRESS IT. Geniuses, all of them.

    Obama/Biden '08!

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  9. AB

    Abusing power? Palin? Who'd a thunk that?

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  10. The Lady

    I see the spin on this already, she abused her rights but did not break the law. My understanding is that no law was broken but Palin should be asked to step down or be fired, that is what is suppose to happen to government officials who abuse their power. Lets see the spin on this.

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  11. k

    Ok, this one abuses power as a Governor, her "dude" is cc'ed on many official government emails, and already refused to honor subpeonas. Now what do you think "Todd and she" do once they go to Washington.

    To get elected these dirty party of "conservative" wouldn't stop at nothing.

    O, by the way, I have always struggled with this. Would anyone enlighten me as what these self-proclaimed conservatives are conserving anyway? They ravage the environment, shoot God's creation for pleasure and call themselves "for-life"? How sick?

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  12. Ken

    That does not sound like putting state or country first! Do we really need another "leader" who puts her own personal issues ahead of the interests of the people? That's the type of leadership that has lead to the Iraq war and putting the interests of oil companies ahead of Americans. Please, please, please America – don't get fooled again like you did in 2000 and 2004. It's time for a change and honorable politics.

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  13. Sam A.

    Can you imagine, losing your job because your protect the job of your employees? Shame on Sarah Palin. Whether or not she broke a law, her motivation and personality is on clear display. The woman is vindictive and cruel. I can only imagine what she would be like as Vice President, puffed up by even more power. She is making Americans turn on each other, and encouraging hate. That is what Hitler did. He made Germans turns on their fellow countrymen by saying they were different, to be feared. Sick. Sick. Sick.

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  14. Jesse

    If she abused her power in this instance what happens when she has more power? Its simple more abuse.

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  15. ex mccain supporter


    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  16. Danny

    Sounds like BUSH-CHENEY all over again. Abuse power but didn't break law. Abuse of power is part of why we suffer in America today.
    God help us. We dont know her and 6 weeks is not enough to know her. We need to know about Alska Independent Party (anti-America party) which Sarah and Todd belonged.


    October 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  17. Don't Vote For Hate

    Can you say "retaliatory dismissal"?

    Can you say "7-figure judgment"?

    Can you say "Whoo-hoo, I've got the legislature's aproval to bully anyone I want - give me a pad and pencil. I need to start a list...."?

    I knew you could.

    October 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  18. Tim

    Wow what a maverick! Can we say Cheney part deux?

    October 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  19. Thomas

    Palin Abused power !
    Washington outside !
    Imagine what she could do as an insider !

    Imagine " Justice Department " !

    October 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  20. CP IN OR

    Why am I not surprised!!!!!!!!!!!

    Palin, not good for our country!!!!!!!!

    October 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  21. Lamar

    She is no longer believable

    October 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  22. The Lady

    Ask for her resignation. She did it once she will do it again.

    October 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  23. David Newport, OR

    A perfect example of a Republican vice-presidential candidate. What more needs to be said?

    October 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  24. Mark R

    That man should have been fired.

    He refused to fire a trooper who was a drunk, and he tasered a small kid, his OWN kid.

    Monegan should have had that taser shoved up his butt before he was fired.

    The cop was a BAD cop, it does not matter anything else, he was a BAD cop, and should have been fired by Monegan.

    October 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  25. Bigbubba

    Wow, a Republican that abuses power. I am amazed. This is probably the first time ever such a thing has happened.

    Sorry, I can't say drivel like that with a straight face. Power abusing Republican is like saying a money hungry banker. The only thing that saves her is that she was technically within the letter of the law. It isn't that she didn't want to use her power to force people to do what she wanted. She just wanted plasible deniability in case she got caught. She was doing exactly like Nixon, Stevens and all the rest of the criminals that her party attracts. Use the law to bend or break the law then say it wasn't technically illegal.

    Way to pick-em John.

    October 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
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