The Troopergate affair comes to an end, with Stephen Branchflower’s report.
to investigate the circumstances and events surrounding the termination of former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan and potential abuses of power and/or improper actions by members of the executive branch [Page 2]
Here are the key findings on Sarah Palin and the sacking of her brother in law – Page 8 of the report reproduced below:
Finding Number One
For reasons explained in section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statue 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. Alaska Statue 39.52.110(a) provides
“The legislature reaffirms that each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust.”
Finding Number Two
I find that, although Walt Monegan’s refusal to fire Trooper Michael Wooten was not the sole reason he was fired by Governor Sarah Palin, it was likely a contributing factor to his termination as Commissioner of Public Safety. In spite of that, Governor Palin’s firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.
Finding Number Three
Harbor Adjustment Service of Anchorage, and it’s owner Ms. Murleen Wilkers, handled Trooper Michael Wooten’s workers’ compensation claim properly and in the normal course of business like any other claim processed by Harbor Adjustment Service and Ms. WIlkes. Further, Trooper Wooten received all the workers’ compensation benefits to which he was entitled.
Finding Number Four
The Attorney Generals office has failed to substantially comply with my August 6, 2008 written request to Governor Sarah Palin for information about the case in the form of emails.
Part of Todd and Sarah’s attempts to have Wooten (ex brother in law) sacked was that he shot a Moose illegally. That pressure was put on Monegan to agree or else his position would be untenable. He did not and he was sacked – which was within her power.
Will the damage to Sarah Palin be deflected by concerns over the economy – or will this be another example of her unsuitability for high office, and McCain making a bad selection on a political whim rather than a thorough assessment of character.