Yesterday’s news was that Sarah Palin was refusing to comply with an investigation into her role in the firing of public safety commissioner Walt Monegan. Walt Monegan claimed to have been fired because of his role not firing trooper Mike Wooten who is Sarah Palin’s ex-brother-in-law. This Sarah Palin scandal is known as Troopergate and this and other Sarah Palin dirt have been trumpeted by those seeking to discredit Sarah Palin.
Today Sarah Palin has released memos which purport to show that Walt Monegan was fired for insubordination. The actual memos were released to the Anchorage Daily News:
Walt Monegan lost his job as public safety director of Alaska because he resisted Governor Sarah Palin’s budget policies and showed “outright insubordination,” say papers the governor’s lawyer filed Monday with the state Personnel Board in relation to the Troopergate investigation.
It was Sarah Palin’s strongest effort yet to snuff allegations she sacked Monegan because he refused to fire a state trooper involved in an ugly divorce with the governor’s sister.
Along with the papers filed Monday were a slew of e-mails from the governor’s office purporting to show Walt Monegan’s “rogue mentality” as a member of Palin’s Cabinet.
In one message, the governor’s budget director, Karen Rehfeld, wrote that she was “stunned and amazed” that Monegan appeared to be working with a powerful state legislator, Anchorage Republican Rep. Kevin Meyer, to seek funding for a project Palin previously had vetoed.
To coincide with Monday’s filing, spokesmen for the Republican national ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin, his vice presidential running mate, held an Anchorage press conference touting the “important new information” they said cleared Palin of misconduct in what has come to be known as Troopergate.
Monegan, reached Monday at his Chugiak home, said he was dismayed at the attack on his record as Palin’s public safety commissioner.
“In my mind, I’ve always been a team player,” he said.
He chalked up Palin’s filing to an old adage: “The best defense is a good offense.”
State legislators have hired a former state prosecutor to investigate whether Palin or her aides abused their powers in the Troopergate affair, which has attracted national media attention because of the governor’s fast political rise.
Last week, a legislative committee voted to issue more than a dozen subpoenas to compel witnesses to testify. Palin won’t get one, but her husband, Todd, will.
Ed O’Callaghan, a spokesman for the McCain-Palin campaign, said Monday the governor is “unlikely to cooperate” with the investigation.
The Palins have complained for years that state trooper Mike Wooten is still on the force, and the papers filed Monday again pound on the trooper’s “documented acts of violence and other improper conduct,” including what Sarah Palin contends was a threat to kill her father.
THE LAST STRAW
In pursuing his own goals for the Department of Public Safety, Monegan “sought out the governor’s political opponents behind her back,” Van Flein wrote, and in December 2007 he “unilaterally orchestrated a press conference” on his budget with state Sen. Hollis French, an Anchorage Democrat who is leading the Troopergate investigation.
On May 7 of this year, Randy Ruaro, the governor’s deputy chief of staff, complained in an e-mail to Rehfeld, the budget director, that Monegan’s department “is constantly going off the reservation.”
“The last straw” leading up to Monegan’s firing, Van Flein wrote, was Monegan’s planned trip to Washington, D.C., to seek funding for a new, multimillion-dollar sexual assault initiative the governor hadn’t yet approved.