Saturday, October 18, 2008

Monegan will have an on going adjustment to his reputation...Palin spokesman said

by Jason Moore and Rebecca Palsha

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan filed papers with the Personnel Board Tuesday requesting it hold a hearing to address what he calls damage to his reputation.

The request includes Monegan's side of the story and responds to the governor's claims he was insubordinate and had a rogue mentality.

Monegan's attorney wrote: "Governor Palin's public statements accusing Mr. Monegan of serious misconduct were untrue and they have stigmatized his good name, severely damaged -- and continue to damage -- his reputation and impaired his ability to pursue future professional employment."

Monegan said the Legislature's investigation shows the real reason he was fired -- because he wouldn't take action against Trooper Mike Wooten, the governor's former brother in law.

"It's never been my issue ... that she couldn't fire me, because she could for any or no reason at all," Monegan said in a phone interview. "It was the reason why she fired me that I would just like to have known so I could move on with life and figure what to do, or what not to do in the future.

"I think everybody should be entitled to that, and now i have a clear understanding."

But Monegan still wants a finding from the Personnel Board that the governor's claims he had a rogue mentality and displayed outright insubordination were wrong.

Palin's attorney, Tom van Flein, has a different take on it.

"Everything that has come out has come out because of allegations that he has made," van Flein said. "And this is something he should have thought about before he went and accused the governor of wrongdoing."

Van Flein said the governor at first tried to shield Monegan.

"When the governor reassigned him, she made a public statement that was vague -- deliberately vague," van Flein said. "It's often done that way so you don't have to disclose to the world why you were having a problem with an employee.

"He was the one who insisted that those facts come out. The facts came out, he does not like those facts, but that's not defamation."

Meanwhile, the Personnel Board investigator looking into those issues is reportedly expanding the investigation to include other ethics complaints against the governor and other state officials.

That's according to letters from investigator Tim Petumenos to lawyer Meg Simonian, who threatened a lawsuit to make the governor's portion of the investigation public because the governor waived confidentiality.

"I'm afraid I'm going to have to go to court and ask a judge to make sure that the investigation related to the governor is separated out from her employees who don't want to waive confidentiality and that any deliberations of the Personnel Board or recommendations made by Mr. Petumenos as they relate to the governor are open," Simonian said.

Van Flein said the governor and her husband will meet with Petumenos next week, likely in the Lower 48 on the campaign trail.

While the Legislature's investigation is over, it appears there are more chapters yet to write in what we have come to know as Troopergate.

Video Gallery

Monegan files complaint

Also on KTUU.COM

With investigation finished, what's next?
Palin claims contradict report conclusions
Branchflower: Palin abused power
Palin says report clears her

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