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Alaska legislature panel report finds Palin in violation of ethics act

[JURIST] The Alaskan Legislative Council [official website] on Friday released a report [PDF text] finding that Alaskan Governor and current Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin [official profile] violated the state's Executive Branch Ethics Act [PDF text] by allowing personal ill will to influence her decision to dismiss Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan. Independent investigator Stephen Branchflower found that Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd Palin, violated the public trust by using their influence in the Governor's Office to pressure for the firing of Palin's former brother in law, State Trooper Mike Wooten. Monegan alleges that he was dismissed because he resisted the pressure. Branchflower found that while Monegan was not dismissed solely over his refusal to fire Wooten, it was likely a contributing factor. The report found that the firing was nevertheless a "proper and lawful exercise" of Palin's authority to hire and fire executive branch heads under the Alaskan law. The New York Times has more.

The report, commissioned in July by the bipartisan Council, has not been officially endorsed by the body. Palin was not subpoenaed during the investigation, and refused to cooperate.

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