ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A report has cleared Gov. Sarah Palin of ethics violations in the firing of her public safety commissioner. The report, released Monday, said: “There is no probable cause to believe that the governor, or any other state official, violated the Alaska Executive Ethics Act in connection with these matters.” It was prepared by Timothy Petumenos, an independent counsel for the Alaska Personnel Board.
A separate legislative investigation recently concluded that Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, abused her office by allowing her husband and staffers to pressure the public safety commissioner to fire a state trooper who went through a nasty divorce from Palin’s sister.
Palin fired Walter Monegan, but denies his dismissal was related to the trooper.
Alaska Personnel Board investigations are normally secret, but the three-member board decided to release this report, citing public interest in the matter given Palin’s status as a candidate for national office. Election Day is Tuesday.
Palin had earlier waived her privacy rights, but others in her administration did not and Petumenos sought to keep the matter from playing out in the media.
Petumenos said documents to be released Monday would not include transcripts of separate depositions given by Palin and her husband, Todd.
That deposition was the only one given by Sarah Palin. She was not subpoenaed to answer questions in the Legislature’s investigation, though her husband, Todd, gave an affidavit in that probe.
Palin initially said she would cooperate with the Legislature’s probe. But after she became John McCain’s running mate, she said the investigation had become too partisan and filed an ethics grievance against herself with the personnel board.
Telephone messages left with state Sens. Hollis French, who led the legislative investigation, and Sen. Kim Elton, chairman of the Legislative Council, were not immediately returned.