Allegations Surround New Commissioner of Public Safety Hire
The questions stem from new documents released by a state trooper who says Governor Palin and her family are harassing him.
Original article posted July 17, 2008
New allegations are raising even more questions about Governor Palin's sudden firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan on Friday. The questions stem from new documents released by a state trooper who says Governor Palin and her family are harassing him.
The catch here is the trooper is Governor Palin's former brother-in-law.
From Walt Monegan's dismissal, to the naming of new commissioner Chuck Kopp, and the sexual harassment claim against him—the governor is facing some tough questions this week.
The trooper's union is supporting one of their own Thursday night. Alaska State Trooper Michael Wooten says he's been harassed by the governor and her family. It all stems from Wooten's divorce from Governor Palin's sister.
"Officer Wooten has asked that we release the records around that investigation so that the press can take an open and honest look at what happened, and you may draw your own conclusions," said John Cyr, Executive Director of the Public Safety Employees Association.
The papers show in 2005, Palin made a formal complaint about Wooten's behavior. When she was questioned further. She admits some of her information was secondhand.
"The majority of them were either unfounded, not sustatained," said Cyr.
The papers also show Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, hired a private investigator to follow Wooten to help in the divorce case. In all, Governor Palin and her family filed 36 allegations. Eleven were sustained.
The allegations that were sustained include:
Wooten was suspended for several days as a result of the findings.
"I don't paint the picture here that Mike is necessarily here without some blemish, I think that clearly he has had more than his share of problems," said Cyr.
Cyr says that he's never seen as many complaints made against a trooper from one family.
"The vast majority of our folks go through their entire career without ever having an investigative anything done," said Cyr.
So does this family battle with a state trooper have anything to do with Walt Monegan's firing?
"Absolutely not," said Governor Palin. "No, again it was a recognition that he had some interests that could be put to good use in more exclusive area than running the whole show, the Department of Public Safety. But again, he choosing not to move into that position, we're moving forward."
Former Commissioner Monegan was asked Thursday by KTVA if he was asked by Governor Palin to fire Trooper Wooten.
"I am bound by law not to discuss personnel actions," said Monegan. "And as to the reason I was fired, other than wanting to take DPS in a different direction, I've not been given a reason for my dismissal."