Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power by waging a campaign against a state trooper she has a personal grudge against, said a state legislature investigator’s report quoted by the Juneau Empire. Special Counsel Steve Branchflower said that as a public officer, Palin holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust. The report said firing Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan was within her authority.
Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, had argued that because she did not benefit financially from the attempt to get her former brother-in-law fired, she violated no ethics rules. The firing of Monegan, which led to the investigation known as “Troopergate,” was only one part of a broad campaign involving Palin, her family, and numerous aides, to get Trooper Mike Wooten fired. Branchflower recommended that people who file complaints against police officers be told of the outcome.