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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Gov. Palin’s Staff Now Refusing to Talk to Investigation into “Troopergate”

Gov. Sarah Palin had recently promised to co-operate fully with the investigation into her alleged abuse of power.  The memo must not have reached her staff, her executive powers must not be all that effective, or, more likely, the McCain campaign legal team trying to quash the investigation must be in control now.

This piece Alaskan news just prior to Gov. Palin as the GOP VP nominee, after a recorded phone call showing her staff using the Governor’s office for Palin’s personal purposes was released to the public.  KTVA reporst that Gov. Palin reversed course this day on her original denial of any abuse of power:

For those not familiar with the investigation, Gov. Palin had initially denied allegations that she, her husband and her staff had attempted to pressure then Public Safety Commisioner Walt Monegan into firing her sister’s ex-husband due to a family vendetta after their divorce.  When Monegan refused to take up the Palin family’s personal matter, he was “offered the opportunity” to be reassigned to a lesser role and instead chose to quit.

Well, now seven of her staff including Frank Bailey – now on paid leave – who was taped on the telephone trying to get Trooper Wooten fired, have reneged on their promise to speak to the investigation.  Bailey was the first to refuse to testify on Friday, followed several hours later by the other six.

The investigation of Governor Sarah Palin for her potential abuse of powers has caused some within her administration to remain silent, as there are more members of the Palin administration who have joined Frank Bailey in not testifying. As the result of seven witnesses canceling their scheduled depositions with special investigator Steve Branchflower over the investigation of Governor Palin, the Legislature is taking action.

There has been a recent series of cancellations and interviews that Mr. Branchflower had worked hard to set up. And because of those cancellations, we have now scheduled a hearing, joint House and Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for next Friday in order to consider the issue of whether subpoenas should be put out,” said Senator Hollis French, a Democrat from Anchorage who was appointed the project director by the Legislative council for the investigation.

The seven names, including Frank Bailey, are Diane Kiesel, Nicki Neal, Brad Thompson and Annette Kreitzer-who all work for the Department of Administration-and Kris Perry and Karen Rehfeld who work for the office of the governor.

On Friday KTVA Alaska had an article on the reversal by Gov. Palin, her administration and her husband’s denial of this pressure, including the taped phonecall from Frank Bailey to Monegan.

The KTVA coverage discusses this 2:35 into this video.

At 4:40 into the video, coverage continues of an ethics complaint filed by the union representing Trooper Wooten (PSEA/  AFSCME Local 803).  The union filed the complaint alleging that Gov. Palin and her staff have improperly used confidential information from Trooper Wooten’s confidential files.

KTVA also did a review of Gov. Palin’s speech at the RNC, Plain Speech – Fact or Fiction?, noting flaws with all of her major comments, which will be the subject of a future diary unless someone beats me to it.