Palin’s Trooperage Denial Upended

Sarah Palin needs to take her fingers from her ears, stop singing “la la la,” and actually read what the report finds: that while firing is within her right as Alaska governor, doing so for personal reasons is a violation of law (specifically the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act) and therefore unethical. That means wrongdoing… wrong was done!

From the WashPo Fact Checker:

The Branchflower report, published on Friday and available in full here, concluded that Palin had the legal right to fire Monegan. However, it also concluded that Palin had “abused her power by violating Section 39.52.119a of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act,” which is worded as follows:

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.

The Branchflower report concludes that Palin “knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda, to wit: to get Trooper Michael Wooten fired.” It adds that she and her husband Todd attempted “to get Trooper Wooten fired for personal family related reasons.” Subordinates were placed in the situation where they had to choose whether to “please a superior or run the risk of facing that superiors displeasure,” a clear conflict of interest.

… Whether or not the Branchflower report — which was launched by a bipartisan committee — was a partisan smear job is debatable. What is not debatable is that the report clearly states that she violated the State Ethics Act. Palin has reasonable grounds for arguing that the report cleared her of “legal wrongdoing,” since she did have the authority to fire Monegan. But it is the reverse of the truth to claim that she was cleared of “any hint of any kind of unethical activity.”

via Washington Post’s The Fact Checker: Four Pinocchios for Palin


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