July 21st, 2009
07:11 PM ET
13 years ago

Palin defense fund may be unethical, investigator says

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/20/art.getty.palin.jpg caption="Gov. Sarah Palin may have violated state ethics laws."](CNN) - Outgoing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin may have violated state ethics laws by letting supporters set up a legal defense fund to help her battle ethics complaints, a preliminary report on the issue has found.

An investigator hired by the state personnel board recommended Palin - who gives up her office on Sunday - refuse money from the defense fund and ask the state to pay legal fees for ethics complaints that have been dismissed.

Palin attorney Thomas Van Flein said that the report is not final, however, and he is preparing "supplemental information" for the investigator. Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2008, cited the cost of battling ethics complaints from her critics as one of the reasons she is giving up her office about two-thirds of the way through her term.

Most complaints have been dismissed, though one led to her paying back taxes on state per diem funds, and she agreed to repay about $8,100 in travel expenses for her children in another case.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Really!?

    So was having a large contributor buy your house for you but some Senators and Presidents from Illinois have had that done for them.

    July 21, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  2. Russell NH

    I am shocked!

    Soon to be ex-Governor babiiscious would NEVER do anything for personal gain.

    How dare you? That investigator must work for the democrats or the media, y'know!

    July 21, 2009 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  3. Susan (Michigan)

    Guess who helped her set up her PACs? John Coale, Washington lawyer and Scientologist who believes PACS are ways around federal election donation laws, and uses them to influence votes. He's also the husband of Palin supporter Greta Van Susteran. I'm sure he never checked Alaska law, but one might think the lovely and smart Governor would have read the statute in 18 months in office. Nah. But, hey, I'm sure she's qualified to lead America somewhere. Chaos comes to mind.

    July 21, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  4. C W

    "Most complaints have been dismissed, though one led to her paying back taxes on state per diem funds, and she agreed to repay about $8,100 in travel expenses for her children in another case."

    So basically, if she hadn't been caught, she never would have paid back taxes on the per diem or paid back the travel expenses for her kids.

    She's not only a quitter, she's a thief!

    July 21, 2009 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  5. Cat

    No surprise here. Palin has no one to blame but herself for being such a lighting rod. All the nasty, hateful, bigoted statements she spewed during the campaign she deserves exactly what she getting.
    KARMA!! She should have stayed as the UNKNOWN governor of Alaska. Hm..maybe she need to contact the witchdoctor again to cast a spell to rid herself of all this negative attention.

    July 21, 2009 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  6. Bluskys


    July 21, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  7. Angie-Oh

    I'm not surprised. in addition to being a quitter, a pitbull with no teeth, she is a liar and a theft. the people are better off without the loser. oh sorry, quitter.

    July 21, 2009 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  8. Steven

    Do more research into the manipulation of the legal system to cover up some political and personal abuses she did, their has been very little follow up on that for her so called fans, drop the $8100 that’s chump change to amount of legal time, docs and payouts which is sure to add well above a simple per diem a day total. This woman should ask for a bail out and get an IOU's issued to her great grandchildren.
    – Besides the family, well who she says is family should be good and well off with all the book deals, slamming of her daughter’s ex-baby downer and going after comedians.....
    She is not a positive TV icon and the coverage of her should really be first thing to cut for federal spending plan.

    July 21, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  9. Peter (CA)

    Does she not know what the laws are? Or does she not care?
    This is your great "right-wing" hope?

    Seems about right. Morally and intellectually bankrupt hypocrites.

    July 21, 2009 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  10. Babs

    Let's be honest. Most politicians are as dishonest as the day is long so Palin should fit the bill to a T. Especially, since she's had so much experience with the long days in Alaska. It's 24 hours of daylight for half the year. No wonder the Repub party is so behind her.

    July 21, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  11. elana

    Now wouldn't Sara Palin be the PERFECT President for the United States of America? Her "history" of unethical behavior would just be a wonderful asset for the American people!

    July 21, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  12. Rob

    "May be unethical". Well, "maybe" until it is unethical, the MSM should not report anything about it. So far, not one ethics charge has stuck to her. SInce donated money is used to defend her against frivolous charges, it's not like taxpayer money is paying to defend her. There's no current law against that. Time to move on.

    July 21, 2009 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  13. Expat American

    Palin's defense fund doesn't matter.

    She doesn't matter.

    Her legions of slack jaw bigots don't matter.

    She and her racists are like leprosy. Put them all in a leper colony, far far away.

    July 21, 2009 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  14. Beverly in NC

    Palin used her position as Governor to collect money for her personal use. Since she is no longer Governor she should have to give all $500,000 to the State of Alaska...if any of it is stil left. She has a habit of spending everyone else's money for her benefit.

    This woman is unbelievable. She is UNETHICAL and IMMORAL and it doesn't take the Alaskan legislature to prove it. Her behavior and lies are proof enough.

    July 21, 2009 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  15. Fan of Common Sense

    Sarah Palin is a perfect example of why good people do not enter or remain in public office. If you are an independent thinker and oppose the status quo and try to infiltrate the American political establishment, you (and your family) will be destroyed by the media and political operants. It's disgusting and sad what has been done to this woman and her family. And we wonder why the corrupt status quo never changes and why we have such corrupt, low-quality leaders in this country.

    If you want to run for high political office in this country, you have to either be a 'corrupt team player' or you have to be a multi-millionaire so you can afford the huge legal fees which will surely come when the corrupt political establishment and media begins to attack and try to systematically destroy you. It makes me wonder what would happen to someone like Abe Lincoln if he was to dare to run for office today.

    THANK YOU SARAH for at least trying to change America for the better.

    July 22, 2009 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  16. FL

    Sounds like they were trying to save the state some money, but if Alaska wants to pay for defending all the lawsuits, that's their choice.

    Didn't the Clintons set up a fund to help pay legal fees for his Monica Lewinksy scandal? If that wasn't unethical, why would Palin's be?

    Also, I wonder if the same people who think Palin should have paid for her children to travel are the same ones who think it is great that Obama is taking his girls overseas on taxpayer dollars. Really no difference.

    July 22, 2009 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  17. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    If Sarah Palin was only 1/5 as corrupt as Obama or Bill Clinton, she would probably be in prison right now. The double standard is sickening. Beware all independent, anti-status quo individuals who are considering running for office. Your reputation will be destroyed.

    May God Bless Sarah Palin and her family! They deserve it after what they have endured.

    July 22, 2009 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
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