JULY 29, 2008
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is being investigated for abruptly firing the state’s public safety commissioner because he wouldn’t get rid of a state trooper who had gone through a bitter divorce with the governor’s sister.
As the mayor of Wasilla, the Republican governor had written a letter of recommendation for her ex brother-in-law (Mike Wooten) to get the trooper job in 2000, but her sister went through a nasty divorce and custody battle in 2005 that some say led Palin to push for the trooper’s firing.
The governor’s sister, Molly McCann, continues to have a hostile relationship with her former husband and recently called 911 because he would not return their young children to her. The family’s dirty laundry was aired this month when, for no particular reason, Governor Palin fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.
Palin said she got rid of Monegan because she wants the department to go in a new direction, but the fired commissioner says he got the boot because he wouldn’t fire the governor’s ex brother in law. In fact, Monegan said that Palin and her family have been pressuring him to fire the trooper since she took office in December 2006.
This week a bipartisan council of Alaska legislators ordered an independent investigation into the matter, which has become somewhat of a scandal in a state already plagued with public corruption at various levels of government. Taxpayers will dish out $100,000 for the probe, which will hopefully expose any abuses of power or improper actions by members of the state’s executive branch.
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