Troopergate Report: Palin ‘Abused Her Power’

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A report [PDF] released today finds that as governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin “abused her power,” a specific violation of a state law.

Palin was accused of firing her safety commission officer Walt Monegan for not intervening in a personal family feud. Evidence in the report suggests that Palin and her husband, Todd Palin, pressured Monegan to fire their ex-brother-in-law and state trooper, Mike Wooten.

Though the report found that Palin was within the scope of the law by firing Monegan, that doesn’t mean she’s off the hook. The report says she knew “pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda…”

The report explains that Palin’s actions amount to a violation of the state Ethics Act. In fact, the case is “one of the very reasons the Ethics Act” was established in the first place.

The question now: what happens to Palin?

Chairman of the Legislative Council, Sen. Kim Elton (R-Juneau), told me in an interview shortly after the report was released that he has confidence in the integrity of the report, but is not prepared to start considering taking action against Palin.

“This is like ‘truth and consequences,”” Elton said, standing in a hallway of the Anchorage legislative offices where the report was released. “Today I will say we got the truth. The facts are now in the public. I’m not prepared to go to consequences.”

The spokesman for the House Republicans, Will Vandergriff, told me that nothing is likely to happen before the regular legislative session begins on Jan. 20, 2009. He said it would take a supermajority of lawmakers, 45 House and Senate members, or an executive action from Palin’s office to hold a special session on the issue.

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