Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Seven Palin Aides to Testify in Abuse of Power Probe

Anchorage, Alaska - Seven aides to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin have reversed course and agreed to testify in an investigation into whether the Republican vice presidential nominee abused her powers by firing a commissioner who refused to dismiss her former brother-in-law.

There is no indication, however, that Palin or her husband will now agree to testify in the legislative inquiry, which has dogged her for the past several months and could hurt John McCain in the final weeks of the presidential race.

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin says she's an open book regarding an abuse-of-power investigation. Apparently her staff doesn't feel the same way.

While the Alaska governor has waived her privacy rights so details about her firing of a state commissioner can be made public, she has not called on others in her administration to do the same. Unless they do, the results of a state personnel board investigation may never be revealed.

The personnel board and the state Legislature are running separate investigations into whether Palin abused her power by firing Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, who says he resisted pressure to fire a state trooper involved in a messy divorce with the governor's sister.

The controversy, known in Alaska as Troopergate, could hurt John McCain's presidential bid. Legislative investigators are due to submit a report Friday that could reveal embarrassing details about Palin's leadership and provide campaign fodder in the final weeks before the election.

Palin refuses to cooperate with that inquiry, which she says has become too political, citing comments by the Democratic senator overseeing the case. She is only cooperating with the personnel board inquiry, which is much more secretive, is run by people she can fire and could take years to resolve.

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