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Alaska Inquiry Finds that Sarah Palin Abused Powers

An investigation by the Alaska Legislature, released this evening, concluded that Sarah Palin abused the powers of the office of Governor of Alaska by pressuring subordinates with the goal of getting her ex-brother-in-law State Trooper Michael Wooton fired. The 236-page report, at the center of "Troopergate," also found that she was within her powers when she dismissed the public safety commissioner, who was the boss of the ex-brother-in-law.

The report, which could now have national implications, holds that Palin violated the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act when she exerted pressure, and when she allowed her husband to do so, too. It states:

Such impermissible and repeated contacts create conflicts of interests for subordinate employees who must choose to either please a superior or run the risk of facing that superior’s displeasure and the possible consequences of that displeasure.

The legal and political implications of the report are uncertain. The Alaska legislature could censure Palin, and US voters may question the McCain campaign's characterization of Palin as a reformer.


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