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'Troopergate' investigation finds Palin abused her power

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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 5:35 pm

An Alaskan legislative investigation, nicknamed 'Troopergate', concluded Friday that Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin had abused her power during her time as Alaskan governor.

The report, released by a bipartisan investigative committee, found that Palin had violated the state Ethics Act when she allowed her husband to pressure former Commissioner of Public Safety Walt Monegan into firing state trooper Mike Wooten; however, she was well within her rights to fire Monegan because of disagreement on budget cuts.

Sarah Palin had "knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda," the report went on to say.

Todd Palin, her husband, admitted to trying to forcefully remove Wooten because of alleged actions such as driving under the influence, threatening Palin's father, and using a Taser gun on his son. The pressure came after a hostile divorce between the governor's sister and ex-husband, who was accused of threatening the family.

The governor's explanations of her reasons for firing Monegan had been inconsistent, from denying a "personality conflict" to insubordination and incompetence. She consistently denied, however, the firing being related to Wooten.

"The Palins make no apologies," a statement released by her campaign said, "for wanting to protect their family and wanting to bring attention to the injustice of a violent trooper keeping his badge and abusing the workers' compensation system".

While the investigative committee had agreed unanimously to release the report, a few Republicans on the panel had attempted to halt the investigation, citing political bias. Republican Senator Gary Stevens warned voters to be "cautious" and to "realize there's much more in it than just the one-page findings".

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