According to Alaska Rep. Les Gara, Palin could face another possible setback. But the new finding is not expected before next Tuesday’s presidential election. Her hopes were that the state personnel board investigation would clear her and that any would stop any legislative inquiry.
“I think in the end the McCain campaign brought Gov. Palin a little more trouble than she bargained for by convincing her to have the personnel board investigate this,” Gara said in an interview with The Public Record. “Probably in retrospect, wasn’t a smart move.”
On Sept. 2, just a day before she accepted the GOP nomination, Palin took the unusual step of filing an ethics complaint with the state personnel board against herself regarading her firing of Monegan.
The McCain-Palin campaign apparently was betting that the personnel board, two of whose members were appointed by former Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski, another Republican, would clear Palin of wrongdoing.
What everyone didn’t count on was that an independent investigator would be hired, who happens to be a Democrat.
Palin’s maneuver also failed to head off the legislative inquiry, which concluded on Oct. 10 that the governor had abused her power and violated state ethics law in her vendetta against her ex-brother-in-law.
Rep. Gara, who spoke with Petumenos about a separate complaint that Gara filed accusing the McCain campaign of trying to obstruct the legislative inquiry, told me that he believes the personnel board’s report will parallel the findings of the legislative inquiry.
Gara said Petumenos “is well respected and will conduct a thorough investigation based on the facts,” adding: “I think the findings will be similar.”
“There’s a strong chance his report will look much like the Legislature’s given how comprehensively both the Legislative and Board’s investigators do their work,” Gara said. “But I can’t predict what it will say. “It is ironic that the McCain Campaign filed the second action to stop the first one. Now there’s a risk they’ll get two unfavorable findings.”
There is a small glitch, see the independent investigator, Timothy Petumenos can not investigate criminal matters. So Rep. Gara is going to have to push the Attorney General on the witness tampering allegations.
Gara is pressing Attorney General Talis Colberg to appoint an independent investigator to probe whether operatives in McCain’s presidential campaign broke Alaska’s criminal witness-tampering laws.
“I am concerned that the state’s criminal witness-tampering laws have been broken by certain staff for Sen. McCain’s presidential campaign,” Gara wrote in a letter to Colberg.
Gara said the McCain staff arrived in Alaska on Aug. 29 and spent the next month and a half trying “to stall or stop” the investigation by getting several senior Palin aides and her husband Todd to balk at giving depositions.
If McCain-Palin are not elected, Palin will likely be facing discipline actions. Since, Colberg is a close ally of Palin’s he has thrown up every roadblock and he is even trying to play dumb. Which is not fooling Rep. Gara, he is having Petumenos remind Colberg that he can’t persue anything of a criminal nature. Not surprising that Colberg’s office is not returning any calls for comment.
For the whole update on the investigation and interview here is the link to TPR.
Update: Ex-lawmakers call for McCain ‘Troopergate’ apology.
Republican presidential nominee John McCain should apologize for his campaign’s personal attacks on the Alaskan at the heart of the ‘Troopergate’ controversy, according two former Alaska legislative leaders.
Former House Speaker Gail Phillips, a Republican, and former Senate President Chancy Croft, a Democrat, on Friday said McCain’s campaign representatives made attacks that damaged the reputation of Walt Monegan, Gov. Sarah Palin’s fired public safety commissioner.
Phillips and Croft said that in the run-up to the investigator’s report, the McCain campaign disparaged Monegan and tried to kill the investigation.
“It’s unconscionable that an outside campaign organization which had no knowledge of the history, background or understanding of an Alaskan issue would come to our State to destroy the reputation and life of a dedicated Alaskan public servant,” Phillips and Croft said in a joint statement.