Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ethically-Challenged Sarah-- But We Already Knew That, Right?

Nearly a year after she quit her governorship of Alaska, Sarah Palin was found guilty today of another breach of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act involving her so-called Alaska Fund Trust (AFT), which she established as a private "legal defense fund" while governor.

Timothy Petumenos, independent counsel for the Alaska Personnel Board issued his findings from the Adventure Room of the Captain Cook Hotel in downtown Anchorage.  In an extremely detailed finding, Petumenos ruled that "the Trust itself, as ultimately conceived, violates the Ethics Act."

The finding is a stinging rebuke to Palin, who must now return more than $386,000 in contributions to the AFT.  It also forces her longtime political crony Kirstan Cole to be removed from serving as Trustee of the fund.  Perhaps most significantly, Petumenos demanded that "all donors to the Trust, whether they donated before or after the resignation, must be publicly disclosed."

Andree Mcleod, the Anchorage-based government watchdog who has filed five Ethics Act complaints against Palin issued a statement today:
    "I've spent more than two years trying to shed light on many of Palin's wrongdoings while governor. Her typical response: to vilify and deride Alaskans who only wanted to hold her accountable for her misconduct; this should give people pause.  Never has a governor lowered the bar as low as Palin has when she breached the public's trust over and over again. Her arrogance, sense of entitlement and recklessness while doing the people's business sets a very bad precedent."

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