The report about $arah Palin's official legal defense fund is all over the news sites and blogs. I noticed the following passage:
I would note here that the state hired outside counsel to represent Governor Palin in her official capacity with respect to the Legislative Council investigation concerning the firing of Public Safety Commissioner Monegan. The governor's counsel later advised he was terminating the contract because his efforts relating to claims against the governor in her official capacity could not be separated from those alleging personal misconduct. The attorney general advised that it expected to be billed for representation of the governor in her official capacity, but the attorney general has not received a billing from the governor's private attorney.
...because his efforts relating to claims against the governor in her official capacity could not be separated from those alleging personal misconduct.
How could they have been separated? Personal misconduct allegations were only relevant BECAUSE she was the governor. If $arah Palin had been a private citizen, she could have pursued her vendetta against Wooten until she was blue in the face and there would have been no repercussions whatsoever. $he wouldn't have been in a position to fire Monegan, she wouldn't have had the staff to pester Monegan, her husband wouldn't have received copies of state e-mails. The Branchflower investigation would not have been necessary.The way I see it, her official capacity CANNOT be separated from her personal capacity. It appears to me the lawyer in question offered that excuse when his services were no longer required because the RNC advised $arah Palin to seek private counsel in order to benefit from client/attorney confidentiality.
The last sentence in the passage indicates that there was no personal liability for $arah Palin regarding her legal fees. Which would make the legal fund a big con.
The Personnel Board, created under the Personnel Act (AS 39.25.060), is composed of three members appointed by the governor and confirmed by the legislature meeting in joint session.
Powers and duties of the board:
* approve/disapprove amendments to the personnel rules as provided in AS 39.25.140;
* consider and act upon recommendations for the extension of the partially-exempt service and the classified service as provided in AS 39.25.130;
* hear and determine appeals by employees in the classified service as provided in AS 39.25.170;
* carry out powers and duties under the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act (AS 39.52).
Director, Workforce Development at Alaska Communications Systems
Works in some capacity at the Ted Ferry Civic Center
Alfred L. Tamagni, Sr
Involved in Alaska Labor Relations Agency as far back as 1995.
It looks like none of them are lawyers and would have to be guided by the opinions of the independent investigators they hire. All the reports on ethics complaints investigated by counsel hired by this board have included some kind of get-out clause for the governor. When $arah had to reimburse the state for her children's travel, Petumenos gave her a deal, so there's was no evidence of wrongdoing. The Daniel's report offers the same "remedies" and goes further, suggesting the state reimburses the governor's legal fees when complaints are deemed to be unfounded. It's a catch-22 endless loop. The Personnel Board has never considered ANYTHING the governor does as unethical and will not find anything unethical in this case...
Daniel's remedies would remove the governor's financial liability for legal fees regarding ethics complaints, rendering the legal fund even more of a con.
[Thomas Daniel is the same independent investigator who found it perfectly OK for $arah Palin to wear the Arctic Cat jacket.]
Until Alaska has an independent Personnel Board with members who have some grounding in ethics, the citizens of Alaska can file complaints ad infinitum and the outcome will always be the same.