ADN: Palin Stonewalling On Troopergate
The Anchorage Daily News says Sarah Palin is “taking the wrong approach” on the investigation into whether she had a state trooper fired because of a personal vendetta, adding that she is not “practicing the kind of “open and transparent, ethical and accountable government she promised when running for governor and boasts about now that she’s on the national stage.”
The allegations are that she, her family or administration improperly pressured then-Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan to fire Gov. Palin’s ex-brother-in-law, state trooper Mike Wooten, who had been in the middle of a custody dispute with Palin’s sister.
When Monegan refused to carry out the firing, he was dismissed.
In July, when legislators started talking about conducting an investigation, Palin denied any wrongdoing and said she welcomed an investigation.
“Hold me accountable,” she said.
Now that she is a national candidate, Palin’s lawyer has asked the state legislature to drop its investigation, and Palin filed an ethics complaint against herself in an attempt to take it away from the legislature and put it in the hands of an independent investigator.
This is not an open and transparent attempt to establish Gov. Palin’s accountability. It is an attempt to drag out the investigation until after voters decide the fate of her vice-presidential bid.
Instead, Gov. Palin should honor her pledge to cooperate with the Legislature’s investigation, conducted by former state prosecutor Steve Branchflower.
The legislature’s investigation is supposed to be completed by October 31. If Palin is successful in delaying it, even by a week, the results won’t interfere with the election.
Newsweek is reporting that the McCain camp has approved an attempt by John Coghill, the Republican chairman of Alaska’s House Rules Committee to remove Democrat Hillis French, the Democratic state senator in charge of the investigation.
French…has hired a special counsel to determine, in effect, whether Palin “used her public office to settle a private score,” he recently said. He has also suggested that the probe may turn up evidence that state laws were violated by Palin’s aides because they pulled confidential personnel files on the trooper.
But Coghill, who told NEWSWEEK that he has the backing of Republican Speaker of the House John Harris in his effort to remove French, suggested Friday that the investigation into Palin’s firing of Monegan should be shut down entirely.
McCain’s team has approved the removal of French from the investigation while claiming the whole thing has become too partisan. And, Todd Palin is hiring his own attorney to fight charges that he improperly intervened by asking Monegan to come to the governor’s office so he could ask him to investigate Wooten’s status on the state police force. The issues here are judgment, credibility and honesty.
When the “troopergate” story broke over the summer, Palin adamantly denied that anybody in her administration exerted any pressure on Monegan to fire Wooten. But only weeks later, a tape recording surfaced in which another one of her top aides, Frank Bailey, was heard telling a police lieutenant, “Todd and Sarah are scratching their heads, ‘Why on earth hasn’t this, why is this guy [Wooten] still representing the department?'”Click here for reuse options!
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