Monday, September 15, 2008

Monegan outs Palin on ABC; Stonewall may be breached already

No matter how thoroughly Sarah Palin stonewalls the Alaskan legislature's investigation of Troopergate, it looks to me like Walt Monegan, the security chief Palin fired, has already handed over a smoking gun to investigators. This from Monegan's interview with ABC today:

Monegan, who gave sworn testimony behind closed doors for nearly eight hours last week, said he also provided the State's investigator with copies of e-mails he received from the Governor in which she referred in disparaging terms to her former brother-in-law.

"This is not a 'he said she said' situation. Others were contacted by Todd and Sarah as well," according to Monegan, who said he was confident the investigation would find adequate documentation to corroborate his testimony.

Palin has already admitted that her office made two dozen contacts with public safety officials about Michael Wooten, her estranged ex-brother-in-law. Looks to me like special counsel Stephen Branchflower has already got the goods he needs.

On ABC, Monegan also accused Palin of lying on multiple fronts. For example:

The former Public Safety Commissioner also strongly defended his job performance in response to Palin's complaints about his work to ABC's Gibson.

"After two years he wasn't meeting the goals I wanted met in that area of public service, there were a lot of things we were lacking and a lot of goals weren't being met." Palin said on 20/20.

"No goals were conveyed to me by the Governor at any time," said Monegan.

"All of the Commissioners who worked for the Governor would say the same. She was preoccupied with her pipeline proposal," Monegan said. "All of us were waiting to hear what goals she would set for our departments."

Monegan said the Governor never sat down to talk with him about public safety priorities. "She met with us perhaps four times," he said, "and half the time the Governor was busy on her Blackberry. In one meeting she took a phone call and left the room, directing us to talk to her aide."

Even if Monegan's emails show clear pressure to fire Wooten, the Palin camp is set to argue that they fired him for "insubordination"; they claim to have the evidence. If she did pressure Wooten but can claim other reasons for firing him, what does Alaska law say? How serious an infraction, in itself, is that interference?

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