Palin found to have abused powers in Troopergate scandal

PALIN FOUND TO HAVE ABUSED POWERS IN TROOPERGATE SCANDAL…. A bipartisan legislative panel investigating Sarah Palin’s Troopergate scandal voted unanimously this evening to release a report documenting its findings. Lo and behold, Palin was found to have abused the powers of her office and, despite her claims otherwise, fired the state public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, in because he refused to fire the governor’s ex-brother-in-law.

Gov. Sarah Palin abused the powers of her office by pressuring subordinates to get her former brother-in-law, a state trooper, fired, a investigation by the Alaska Legislature has concluded.

A report on the bipartisan inquiry that was released Friday by lawmakers in Anchorage, concluded, however, that she was within her right to dismiss her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, the trooper’s boss.

The public portion of the report concluded that Ms. Palin violated the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act by allowing pressure to be exerted to get Trooper Michael Wooten, her former brother-in-law, dismissed.

In the 263 pages that were released, the independent investigator, Stephen E. Branchflower, a former Anchorage prosecutor, said that Ms. Palin wrongfully allowed her husband, Todd, to use state resources as part of the effort to have Trooper Wooten dismissed.

The report says she knowingly “permitted Todd Palin to use the governor’s office and the resources of the governor’s office, including access to state employees, to continue to contact subordinate state employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fired.”

Further, it says, she “knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda.”

Of course, we can be certain the McCain campaign knew of Palin’s ethics transgressions weeks ago, thanks to the thorough vetting process it used before adding her to the national Republican ticket.

The full report is online (pdf). More in the morning.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.