Wednesday, July 22, 2009

List of Ethics Complaint Filed Against Sarah Palin

A listing of known ethics complaints filed against Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin:
By The Associated Press

1. July 28, 2008: Alaska lawmakers launched an investigation into whether Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power when she fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan over his refusal to let go a state trooper involved in a contentious divorce with Palin's sister. Stephen Branchflower, a special counsel leading the investigation, concluded Oct. 10 that Palin violated a state ethics law that prohibits public officials from using their office for personal gain. The firing itself was deemed lawful since Monegan was an at-will employee.

2. Aug. 6, 2008: Complaint filed by outspoken Palin critic Andree McLeod of Anchorage contended Palin and some staff members used their influence to get a Palin supporter a job in state government. Complaint alleged Palin staffers helped Tom Lamal, who once co-hosted a Palin fundraiser, to get a job as a surveyor. Dismissed by state personnel board, although the board's investigator recommended ethics training for one staffer who made questionable comments in e-mails.

3. Aug. 20, 2008: Complaint accused Palin of breaking election law by taking a public position on a mining ballot initiative days before the vote. Filed by Brian Kraft, founder of the Bristol Bay Alliance, a group that opposed the Pebble Mine prospect. Rejected May 8 by the Alaska Public Offices Commission.
Aug. 29, 2008: Palin named as John McCain's running mate.

4. Sept. 2, 2008: Palin filed a "self disclosure" with the state personnel board over the Troopergate affair, saying a state legislative probe had become too political. On Nov. 3 -- the day before the election -- Timothy Petumenos, a lawyer hired by the board, said that Palin violated no ethics laws when she fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

5. Sept. 3, 2008: Complaint by the Public Safety Employees Association alleged Palin or her staff had unauthorized access to and improperly disclosed information from personnel records of Trooper Mike Wooten, Palin's ex-brother-in-law. Complaint was later amended to include an allegation of harassment. The PSEA's allegations were investigated alongside Palin's filing and also dismissed.

6. Oct. 13, 2008: Monegan asked the board for a hearing to clear his name. Petumenos, in his Nov. 3 Troopergate report to the panel, said there was no legal basis or jurisdiction for such a hearing.

7. Oct. 23, 2008: Complaint with the Federal Election Commission by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics alleged the $150,000-plus designer wardrobe the Republican Party bought to outfit Palin in her vice presidential quest violated Federal Election Campaign Act. The Washington watchdog group argued that candidates aren't supposed to use donor money for personal expenses. The FEC ruled May 19 that party money is not covered by the ban.

8. Oct. 24, 2008: Complaint contended Palin abused her power by charging the state when her children traveled with her. The personnel board found no wrongdoing, but in a Feb. 23 settlement Palin agreed to reimburse the state about $10,000 for costs associated with 10 trips found to be of questionable state interest among 72 travel authorizations studied. The money is due to the state on Tuesday.

9. Nov. 14, 2008: Accused Palin of partisan "post-election damage control" for talking to reporters about the campaign in her state office. Filed by Zane Henning, a North Slope worker from Wasilla, Palin's hometown. Dismissed by state personnel board March 23.

10. Dec. 2, 2008: Alleged Palin violated ethics law by campaigning for Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia. Filed by Anthony Martin of Talkeetna. Dismissed by state personnel board March 23.

11. Dec. 18, 2008: Complaint contended Palin misused funds of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, a quasi-government entity, to promote her political ambitions with advertisements featuring her, violating ethics law. The ads promoting Alaska seafood ran in the National Fisherman last year through November. Dismissed Jan. 12 after a personnel board investigation determined Palin's only involvement was to give permission to use her image long before she was named McCain's running mate.

12. Jan. 12: Complaint alleging interference in a job hiring was filed under the name of Edna Birch, a busybody character on the British soap opera Emmerdale. Palin's attorney, Thomas Van Flein, said no one by that name could be found living in Alaska and the filer refused to use a real name, so the complaint was dismissed Feb. 20.

13. and 14. Jan. 26: Two complaints filed by McLeod alleged two of Palin's top aides misused their official positions for Palin's personal and political gain. The complaints said then-press secretary Bill McAllister and Kris Perry -- director of the governor's Anchorage office -- worked on state time to benefit Palin's interests during and after her vice presidential quest. Pending.

15. March 18: Contended Palin improperly used state staff, property, time and equipment for partisan political purposes. One of the grievances cited was Palin's posting of her veep candidacy on the official state governor's Web site -- Complaint filed by McLeod. Dismissed May 27 as lacking merit by personnel board May 27.

16. March 24: Contended conflict of interest by Palin because she wore Arctic Cat logo gear during the Tesoro Iron Dog snowmobile race. Palin's husband, Todd, is sponsored by Arctic Cat in the race. Filed by Linda Kellen Biegel, a Democratic blogger. Dismissed June 2.

17. April 22: Alleged that work with Palin's political action committee violated two provisions of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act by misusing her official position and accepting outside employment. Filed by Anchorage resident Sondra Tompkins. Dismissed as lacking merit by state personnel board May 8.

18. April 27: Contends Palin is misusing the governor's office for personal gain by securing unwarranted benefits and receiving improper gifts through the Alaska Fund Trust. The fund was recently established by supporters to help Palin pay off more than $500,000 in legal debts stemming from other ethics complaints, including troopergate. Complaint filed by Eagle River resident, Kim Chatman. Pending.

19. Zane henning
Wasilla resident Zane Henning will be filing an ethics complaint today against Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for continuing to collect per diem from the State of Alaska for living in her own home. "I am charging that the Governor has given herself a raise for personal gain by using the per diem process, which is in direct conflict with Section 39.52.120. (a) of the Alaska Executive Ethics Act,” Henning said. “The State of Alaska provides housing in the state's capital of Juneau for our Governor, so there should be no extra expense if she desires to stay in her own home. More than a thousand state employees commute from the Mat-Su Valley daily and none of them get to pocket free money.”
The reasons why I am filing this complaint are as follows:· State travel regulations specify per diem can’t be claimed when travel is less than 50 miles from a state employee’s workplace. Palin works out of her Anchorage office in the Atwood Building which is a scant 45- mile commute from her Wasilla home. · Palin is exempt from personnel and travel rules which means she does NOT HAVE to collect any per diem ever when working out of her Anchorage office. · And most importantly, State Statute 39.20.010 distinctly stipulates that the governor’s salary is $125,000. Period. By pocketing this free money, Palin violates Alaska law by giving herself a raise that totals to thousands of dollars. Attached documents provide proof that Governor Sarah Palin continues to collect per diem as of May 2009.
"The Governor is quitting her job and now more than ever the State of Alaska along with its residents need to be reimbursed for the per diem charges including interest and a fine. Governor Palin is setting precedent for future governors. My hope was that one of our lemming legislators would take a stand and hold Palin accountable for this act, but since that has not happened, it is up to private citizens, like myself, to hold our Governor accountable”, stated Henning.

20. Alaska — Another ethics complaint was filed against Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin – less than a week before her resignation – alleging she failed to submit complete gift disclosure forms in a timely manner.
The complaint filed with the attorney general is the 19th ethics grievance against Palin, who responded via Twitter postings that the filings came from a "serial complainer" intent on abusing the political process.
"In violation of Ethics Act more allegations were filed today by serial complainer; gave to press be4 we could respond; ridiculous, wasteful..." Palin wrote in the first of a string of postings on the social networking site Twitter.
"it costs political critics NOTHING to file/play their wasteful game; They should debate policy in political arena,not hide w/process abuse..." she said in another tweet.
In announcing her July 26 resignation, Palin has cited the cost and strain of the multiple complaints on her personally and on her administration. Palin, who leaves with 17 months left on her first term, says she is more than $500,000 in legal debt from fighting them.
Most of the complaints, including a case filed by the governor herself, were filed after Palin was named the GOP vice presidential candidate last year. Most have been dismissed.
The latest is the sixth filed by fellow Republican Andree McLeod, an outspoken critic of the governor. She is asking Attorney General Daniel Sullivan to forward her claim to the state Personnel Board for investigation.
Items are listed in the complaint as unclaimed gifts, including "boxes of unopened mail" to Palin and her family from supporters dating back to the governor's national campaign.
"We deserve to know who plied their governor with gifts," McLeod wrote in her complaint.
Palin's attorney, Thomas Van Flein, said the multiple filings by one person raise the prospect that the ethics process "is being abused and is simply being used to harass and annoy." Three of McLeod's cases have been dismissed and two others, including one filed last week, remain active.
The 19 complaints include a "self disclosure" Palin filed with the Alaska Personnel Board just days after she was named John McCain's running mate. It was in response to an investigation by state lawmakers over Palin's firing of her public safety commissioner, a scandal that became known as Troopergate.
The commissioner, Walt Monegan, believed he was terminated over his refusal to dismiss a state trooper who was involved in a contentious divorce with Palin's sister. Palin cited budgetary disagreements.
The legislative probe ultimately concluded the governor broke an ethics law that prohibits public officials from using their office for personal gain, although the firing itself was considered lawful since Monegan was an employee who could be dismissed at will.
Palin said the legislative probe had become too political and filed a "self disclosure" with the personnel board, whose three members are appointed by the governor. The day before the presidential election, that investigation concluded that Palin violated no ethics laws.

21. Anchorage resident and registered Republican Andrée McLeod has filed an ethics complaint today with the Attorney General’s Office charging that Governor Palin violated the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act and knowingly, intentionally and willfully abused her official position and state resources for partisan political purposes and withheld official action for personal and political interests.
“We’ve been had,” says Andrée McLeod. “Sarah Palin failed to preserve, protect and safeguard the office of the governor for selfish reasons and the State of Alaska and Alaskans were left vulnerable and exposed.”
Signed and completed official travel documents show that upon being summoned by the McCain campaign on August 27th Sarah Palin wrote “Conclusion of state business” for that day and flew off to places unknown. After her failed bid, similar documents state “Return to duty status”. However, payroll documents show Palin continued to receive her $125,000 governor’s salary and benefited by using state funded staff on the campaign for ‘state business’ while knowing she was off duty.
“By signing these documents Sarah Palin knew she temporarily quit as governor to campaign for VP full-time; but by pocketing her salary Palin deceivingly used her official position and state staff for partisan political purposes to garner votes.”
The complaint also touches on the Alaska Constitution’s Article 3, Section 9: Acting Governor ~ In case of the temporary absence of the governor from office, the lieutenant governor shall serve as acting governor.
McLeod asks, “What was Sarah Palin thinking when she went off to the Lower 48 for God knows how long without transferring duties to the lieutenant governor? Alaskans were left fending for themselves while Outside political campaign operatives hijacked our system of governance and rendered it paralyzed. Who was looking out for Alaskans and where was the lieutenant governor? How could Sarah Palin be so thoughtless?”
A copy of the ethics complaint is here: sarah-palin-jul-14-ethics-complaint1

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At January 15, 2011 at 4:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Palin didn't transfer power to the Lt gov.? How can this be? She really is totally inept.


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