Stealing this from the NYT

Palin Ethics Investigation

DENVER—An issue for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin that is already drawing attention in the opening moments of her debut as the Republican vice presidential pick is an ongoing state ethics probe that was launched just a few weeks ago.

An independent investigator appointed by a panel of state legislators earlier this month is looking into whether Mrs. Palin dismissed a top law enforcement official in her administration because he failed to fire a state trooper, Mike Wooten, who went through a messy divorce with Mrs. Palin’s sister.

The investigation follows on the heels of Mrs. Palin’s abrupt decision in mid-July to dismiss Walt Monegan, her Public Safety Commissioner. Mrs. Palin said she wanted to take the department in a different direction, but questions emerged after Mr. Monegan said he felt pressured to fire Mr. Wooten.

Mr. Monegan said members of Mrs. Palin’s administration, as well Mrs. Palin’s husband, Todd, and the governor herself talk to him about Mr. Wooten.

Mr. Monegan told the Anchorage Daily News that Mr. Palin showed him some of the findings of a private investigator the family had hired and accused him of variety of misdeeds, including drunk driving and child abuse.

Mr. Palin told the newspaper he feared for his wife’s safety and said that Mr. Wooten had made threats against her and her family.

As part of efforts to demonstrate she welcomed the inquiry, Mrs. Palin asked the state’s attorney general to look into the allegations as well.

Earlier this month, she released an audio recording of a top aide pressing a police lieutenant about why no action had been taken against Mr. Wooten, given the allegations against him. She also disclosed there had been more two dozen inquiries from members of her staff to the public safety department about him, but she said she only knew about some of the inquiries and had played no role in them.

Excerpts of the audio recording Mrs. Palin released showed Frank Bailey, the state’s director of boards and commissions, pushing Lt. Rodney Dial in February about Mr. Wooten.

“Todd and Sarah are scratching their heads, ‘Why on earth hasn’t this, why is this guy still representing the department?’ He’s a horrible recruiting tool, you know,” Mr. Bailey told the lieutenant.

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