Monday, September 15, 2008

Palin's TrooperGate scandal becomes more scandalous

Walt Monegan, the man caught up in Sarah Palin's TrooperGate scandal, fired back at her today casting a dark shadow on her claims of innocence. The former Alaska Public Safety Commissioner is embroiled in a controversy about whether Palin abused her power by pressuring Monegan to fire State Trooper Mike Wooten. Wooten was involved in a nasty divorce and custody battle with Palin's sister. Today, Monegan told ABC News:

"She's not telling the truth when she told ABC neither she nor her husband pressured me to fire Trooper Wooten. And she's not telling the truth to the media about her reasons for firing me."

When asked about the incident during last week's interview with Charlie Gibson, Palin said she dismissed Monegan for poor job performance. She said neither she nor her husband pressured Monegan to fire State Trooper Wooten:

"We never did. I never pressured him to hire or fire anybody."

That's not Monegan's recollection. He told ABC that in Dec. 2006, he was summoned to a meeting at the Governor's office in Anchorage by Todd Palin to discuss a private family matter. The fact that Todd Palin, who doesn't work in the Governor's office, wanted to meet at the Governor's office to talk about family business smacks of inappropriateness (and bullying).

Monegan said Todd became "upset" when he learned an old case against Trooper Wooten, which was the premise for his dismissal, wouldn't be re-opened. He added:

"When Sarah later called to tell me the same thing, I thought to myself, 'I may not be long for this job.'"

Since Monegan wouldn't fire Wooten, it appears the Governor retaliated by firing Monegan. Palin, who initially agreed to "cooperate fully" with a state legislative investigation, has since refused to testify voluntarily since being tapped by McCain as the VP nominee.

Monegan is confident the ongoing investigation will find adequate documentation to corroborate his testimony: "This is not a 'he said she said' situation. Others were contacted by Todd and Sarah as well."

The moral of this story: The last eight years under George Bush have been a textbook example of abuse of power. We don't need Palin to add to the legacy with another four years.


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