Palin gets lawyer in trooper probe
Published: Sept. 1, 2008 at 10:59 PM
JUNEAU, Alaska, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- An Alaskan law firm confirms it is representing Gov. Sarah Palin in a probe into the firing of the state's top public safety official.
Walt Monegan was fired in July as Public Safety Commissioner. Palin has said neither she nor anyone in her administration pressured Monegan to fire Trooper Michael Wooten, her ex-bother-in-law. Monegan told The Washington Post Palin repeatedly talked with him about Wooten after Monegan was named commissioner in December 2006.
Monegan said the governor's husband, Todd Palin, gave him information about Wooten, who engaged in a child-custody battle with Palin's sister. Monegan also said Gov. Palin sent him e-mails on the matter.
Attorney Thomas Van Flein said in a letter to the Alaska Legislature that his firm has been retained "to represent the Governor and the Governor's Office relative to the Legislative Council's investigation," the Anchorage Daily News reported Monday.
State Sen. Hollis French, project director for the legislative investigation, rejected Van Fein's request for witness statements, documents and other materials, citing Gov. Palin's statement that she would cooperate with the investigation.
"I think you will agree that it would be highly unusual for an investigator to share information with one of the targets of the investigation," French wrote.
Gov. Palin was named Friday as likely Republican presidential nominee John McCain's running mate.