Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Palin fights back against latest ethics smear

Yesterday an independent investigator for the Alaska Personnel Board said that Palin might be in violation of ethics law due to her creating a legal defense fund to pay her legal bills.

This is just completely outrageous. I'm not a lawyer but I expect that Palin's lawyers painstakingly scrutinized the law and every possible option in order to create a legal defense that was fully compliant with the law. Among the avalanche of frivlous ethics complaints filed against her, and the very high stakes for her career and her family, there's no way that she would have just thrown something together at the last minute that wasn't compliant. Even before her official defense fund debuted there were people donating to her that she had to turn down with the reason that it wasn't lawful.

Palin is fighting back against this final smear with guns blazing.

"I am informed that this fund was created by experienced attorneys in DC and was modeled after other similar funds established for senators and others. The fund itself was not created by me nor is it controlled by me. Neither I nor my lawyer has received a penny from this fund, and I am informed the Trustee was withholding any action or payment pending final resolution with the Personnel Board. This is the hallmark of legal compliance and prudent conduct," Palin said.

"In short, I have not 'acted' relative to the defense fund and it is misleading to say I have," she added. "I have no doubt that the Trust will welcome guidance by the Board, as do we all, but it is my understanding that this matter was not resolved and the complainant's violation of law has served to mislead the public and prejudice a fair review of this matter."

Several of the governor's top confidants also sharply criticized the report, pointing out that under Alaska law the contents of the document should have remained confidential because the matter is still under review.

"The investigator is still confidentially reviewing this matter," said Palin spokeswoman and top advisor Meg Stapleton in a statement. "It appears suspect that in the final days of the Governor's term, someone would again violate the law and announce a supposed conclusion before it is reached."

The governor's personal attorney, Thomas Van Flein, quickly followed Stapleton with a statement pointing out that he has "been working with the investigator regarding supplemental information. The matter is still pending. Whatever you have seen was released in violation of law."

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