Palin’s ‘grave’ trooper scandal

PALIN’S ‘GRAVE’ TROOPER SCANDAL…. Granted, it has nothing to do with lipsticks and pigs, but the scandal surrounding Sarah Palin firing her public safety commissioner (a.k.a., “troopergate”) continues to get more and more interesting.

The Wall Street Journal, for example, reports that an ethics adviser to Palin warned her about the seriousness of the governor’s handling — or, in this case, mishandling — of the situation, and urged her to apologize for her conduct before it became a damaging scandal.

An informal adviser … said, in a letter reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, that she should fire any aides who had raised concerns with the chief over a state trooper who was involved in a bitter divorce with the governor’s sister.

In the letter, written before Sen. John McCain picked the Alaska governor as his running mate, former U.S. Attorney Wevley Shea warned Gov. Palin that “the situation is now grave” and recommended that she and her husband, Todd Palin, apologize for “overreaching or perceived overreaching” for using her position to try to get Trooper Mike Wooten fired from the force.

Newsweek reports that an Alaskan judge directly warned Palin about harassing her former brother in law.

Court records obtained by NEWSWEEK show that during the course of divorce hearings three years ago, Judge John Suddock heard testimony from an official of the Alaska State Troopers’ union about how Sarah Palin — then a private citizen — and members of her family, including her father and daughter, lodged up to a dozen complaints against Wooten with the state police. The union official told the judge that he had never before been asked to appear as a divorce-case witness, that the union believed family complaints against Wooten were “not job-related,” and that Wooten was being “harassed” by Palin and other family members.

Court documents show that Judge Suddock was disturbed by the alleged attacks by Palin and her family members on Wooten’s behavior and character. “Disparaging will not be tolerated — it is a form of child abuse,” the judge told a settlement hearing in October 2005, according to typed notes of the proceedings. The judge added: “Relatives cannot disparage either. If occurs [sic] the parent needs to set boundaries for their relatives.”

ABC News reports that women’s groups in Alaska remain bothered by Palin’s decisions, because the safety commissioner she fired for dubious reasons was a state leader in combating violence against women.

Advocates for abused women in Alaska have come to the defense of the state’s former public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, abruptly fired by Governor Sarah Palin in July. […] Women’s groups say Monegan was one of the few state officials to take seriously the “epidemic” problem of violence against women and children in Alaska. […]

In fact, Palin herself had nothing but praise for Monegan and his work on the issue at a conference earlier this year, just three months before she fired him, supposedly because he was not a team player on budget issues.

A tape obtained exclusively by ABC News shows Palin at a conference Apr. 28, where she acknowledges and even applauds Monegan.

And finally, TPM Muckraker compiles all of the available evidence into a single report, summarizing the scandal so far.

It certainly looks like the governor abused the powers of her office, fired a decorated state official for not firing a former family member, and has been lying about it every step of the way.