http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/10/ ... index.html
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CNN) -- Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin abused her power as Alaska's governor by trying to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from the state police, a state investigator's report concluded Friday.
"Gov. Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda," the report states.
Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan's refusal to fire State Trooper Mike Wooten from the state police force was "likely a contributing factor" to Monegan's July dismissal, but Palin had the authority as governor to fire him, the report by former Anchorage prosecutor Stephen Branchflower states.
However, it states that her efforts to get Wooten fired broke a state ethics law that bars public officials from pursuing personal interest through official action.
The bipartisan Legislative Council, which commissioned the investigation after Monegan was fired, unanimously adopted the 263-page public report after a marathon executive session Friday. About 1,000 more pages of documents compiled during the inquiry will remain confidential, the council's chairman, state Sen. Kim Elton, said.
Rep. John Coghill, a Republican who criticized the handling of the investigation, said it was "well-done professionally."
But he said some of the conclusions were judgment calls by Branchflower, and recommended readers should view them with a "jaundiced eye."
Monegan said he was fired after refusing pressure to fire State Trooper Mike Wooten, who had gone through an acrimonious divorce and custody battle with Palin's sister.
Palin has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, describing Wooten as a "rogue trooper" who had threatened her family. Wooten denied the allegations.
At a campaign stop Thursday, Palin told reporters that she has "absolutely nothing to hide" in the investigation.
The governor originally agreed to cooperate with the Legislative Council inquiry, and disclosed in August that her advisers had contacted Department of Public Safety officials nearly two dozen times regarding her ex-brother-in-law.
But when she became Sen. John McCain's running mate, her advisers began painting the investigation as a weapon of Democratic partisans.
Ahead of Friday's hearing, Palin supporters wearing clown costumes and carrying balloons denounced the investigation as a "kangaroo court" and a "three-ring circus" led by supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
The state senator managing the investigation, Sen. Hollis French, fueled those complaints with a September 2 interview in which he warned the inquiry could yield an "October Surprise" for the GOP.
But Palin's lawyers already had begun pushing for the state Personnel Board to launch its own investigation, calling it the proper legal venue for the matter.