`Trooper Gate probe could derail Republican’’s bid for White House

October 10th, 2008 - 3:23 pm ICT by ANI  

Sarah Palin

New York, Oct.10 (ANI): The Trooper Gate scam involving Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has the potential of unraveling and derailing the Republican Partys bid for the White House, even as the Alaska State Legislature is expected to release its findings on whether or not Palin abused her power by having a state employee fired. John McCain’’s running mate has been made the subject of a legislative investigation into whether she abused her power as governor by firing her public safety commissioner Walter Monegan because he reportedly refused to fire Palins estranged brother-in-law Mike Wooten from the state police force.
Monegan is claiming that he was dismissed in July for resisting pressure from Palin’’s husband, Todd Palin, and numerous top aides to fire Wooten.
Lawmakers are expected to release their own findings Friday, after Alaska’’s Supreme Court refused to shut down the investigation in a decision Thursday.
Campaign officials have yet to see that report - the result of an probe that began before she was tapped as McCain’’s running mate - but said the investigation has falsely portrayed a legitimate policy dispute between a governor and her commissioner as something inappropriate.
“The following document will prove Walt Monegan’’s dismissal was a result of his insubordination and budgetary clashes with Governor Palin and her administration,” campaign officials wrote. “Trooper Wooten is a separate issue.”
Monegan said Thursday that he doesn”t know what to expect from the legislative panel’’s own report.
“I just hope that the truth is figured out,” CBS quoted Monegan as telling the Associated Press on Thursday.
“That the governor did want me to fire him, and I chose to not. You just can”t walk up to someone and say, ”I fire you.” He didn”t do anything under my watch to result in termination,” he added.
The affidavits filed with investigators late Wednesday will probably help Palin’’s defense that the firing was not a tit-for-tat, but they also portray her as uninvolved while her husband met repeatedly with her aides about family affairs. That could provide fodder for her political opponents.
Although the report describes Wooten as a separate issue, the McCain campaign goes into great detail about the “rogue” trooper and his “long history of unstable and erratic behavior.” The campaign describes allegations of violence, including threatening Palin’’s family and shooting his stepson with a stun gun.
The report also includes allegations that Wooten cheated the workers” compensation system. Todd Palin has said he had numerous conversations with government officials about why Wooten was allowed to stay on the job.
“The Palins make no apologies 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.”
The McCain campaign says the investigation has become “muddied with innuendo, rumor and partisan politics.” (ANI)

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