Gov. Sarah Palin’s husband has refused to testify in the investigation of his wife’s alleged abuse of power, and a key lawmaker said today that uncooperative witnesses are effectively sidetracking the probe until after Election Day.
Todd Palin, who participates in state business in person or by e-mail, was among 13 people subpoenaed by the Alaska Legislature. McCain-Palin presidential campaign spokesman Ed O’Callaghan announced today that Todd Palin would not appear, because he no longer believes the Legislature’s investigation is legitimate…
[Sarah] Palin fired Walt Monegan as public safety commissioner in July. It later emerged that Palin, her husband, Todd, and several high-level staffers had contacted Monegan about state trooper Mike Wooten. Palin maintains she fired Monegan over budget disagreements, not because he wouldn’t dismiss her former brother-in-law.
Wooten had gone through a nasty divorce from Palin’s sister before Palin became governor. While Monegan says no one from the administration ever told him directly to fire Wooten, he says their repeated contacts made it clear they wanted Wooten gone…
The Legislature does not have the leverage to compel any witness to testify before Nov. 4, said [state Senator Bill] Wielechowski, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Wielechowski said… delaying the probe, which began as a bipartisan effort, would only politicize the matter more.
“It would be to appease the McCain camp,” Wielechowski said. “They’re doing everything they can to delay.”
Ignoring a legislative subpoena is punishable by a fine up to $500 and up to six months in jail under Alaska law. But courts are reluctant to intervene in legislative matters and the full Legislature must be in session to bring contempt charges, Wielechowski said. The Legislature is not scheduled to convene until January.