Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Governor Sarah Palin Knew Charles Kopp Was A Sexual Predator, But Tapped Him To Be Alaska's New Commissioner Of Public Safety Anyway

Update July 22nd: Charles Kopp issues statement denying he is a sexual harasser and claims the hugs were platonic. Updated post HERE.

Update July 25th: Charles Kopp resigned, updated post HERE.

On July 21st, 2008, KTUU Channel 2 aired two reports that provide at least credible circumstantial evidence that Governor Sarah Palin knew that former Kenai Police Chief Charles Kopp was a sexual harasser, but chose to overlook it and appointed him the Alaska Commissioner of Public Safety anyway.

Governor Palin has made it clear from the beginning that she was aware of the allegation of sexual harassment levied against Kopp while he was Kenai Police Chief, but she hired him anyway under the apparent belief that it was an anomaly. Her decision was fueled by Kopp's repeated assertion that nothing came of it, that no suits were filed and that no formal disciplinary action against him was taken. He made it sound like a one or two-time deal. So it is possible that Governor Palin was misled by Kopp. This would be no surprise; this puff piece on Kopp by the Peninsula Clarion is what passes for "journalism" in Kenai.

It was FAR MORE than a one or two-time deal. According to the two KTUU videos which are embedded below, the female victim, who worked for him as an administrative assistant, reported that the harassment was frequent and extended. In general, Kopp would come in and want hugs from her - almost on a daily basis. The situation became so protracted the city of Kenai was forced to remove Kopp as her supervisor and place her under the supervision of a Sgt. Sandahl (who's now been appointed acting chief in Kenai). This change was officially documented in this letter to her, dated October 10th, 2005.

This goes beyond sexual harassment - this is sexual predation. Kopp literally preyed on this woman for an extensive period of time. No threats or violence were necessary - the supervisory-subordinate relationship alone made it implicitly coercive. And yet Kopp is considered worthy to be Alaska's top cop? Are you serious, Sarah? (KTUU videos once embedded here became unavailable)

So because no suits were filed, this means it wasn't serious? There may be a number of reasons why the victim didn't file suit. Perhaps she was satisfied with the remedy and didn't want to cost the chief his job. Perhaps she was scared she would lose her own job if she filed suit. Or perhaps she didn't have the money to file suit. "No foul" doesn't necessarily mean "no harm". But on July 18th, Kopp announced his intent to release his personnel file to the public as a confidence-builder.

The Anchorage Daily News is also reporting that the Alaska State Senate is preparing to launch an independent investigation into the Palin Administration's conduct. During an interview on KUDO 1080AM in Anchorage on July 21st, Senator Hollis French (D-Anchorage) said that he would prefer to go that way because filing an ethics complaint would require the Attorney General to investigate, thus creating the ethically-unsound situation of an administration investigating itself. This was part of a prolonged interview with former DPS Commissioner Walt Monegan, which was captured, broken down into four parts, and is accessible HERE in MP3 format if you want to listen.

In a state where domestic violence and violence against women are persistent challenges to be overcome, the appointment of someone like Charles Kopp does not promote confidence in our commitment to mitigate this problem. Kopp may be qualified to be a small-town police chief, but not to be Alaska's Top Cop. Another bad call by Sarah Palin. How many more judgmental misfires by this lady can we stand? This brings the wisdom of her AGIA into question. The legislature needs to take Governor Palin's markedly poor judgment in other areas into consideration when evaluating AGIA.

8 comments:

  1. Man, you're really stretching now!

    This is getting funny.

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  2. Never has so much been made about the replacement of one commissioner. It's like the liberal media and the corrupt old-guard have teamed up.

    ...Hey, why didn't Walt fire Kopp??

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  3. Perhaps if Governor Palin had thought this out and made the change with more dignity that she did, this wouldn't have blown up in her face. The one thing that really set me off was that she didn't fire Monegan face-to-face. Had she done it that way, I probably would have taken little notice of it myself.

    And the fact that Chuck Kopp's "harassment" was much more pervasive than originally portrayed indicates members of the Palin Administration didn't thoroughly vet him.

    The real problem isn't Governor Palin's integrity, as Andrew Halcro and Dan Fagan seems to believe. It's her judgment - it's suddenly gone sour. Fagan is right about one thing - Palin surrounded herself with too many cheerleaders and syncophants, and she's paying the price. And she fired one of the few who was NOT a cheerleader.

    Now I have to wonder about her judgment in regards to AGIA.

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  4. In answer to the question "Why didn't Walt fire Kopp"? Because a local police chief does not report to the DPS. Monegan wouldn't have had the authority to fire Kopp.

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  5. Give it up man! Palin's "smelling like a rose." Read this, e.g., from palinforvp:

    “Tuesday, July 22, 2008
    Pipeline passes State House as Monegan allegations implode!

    This is a great night for Gov. Palin, the State of Alaska, and our movement! Gov. Palin’s plan to build a natural gas pipeline was approved tonight by the State’s House of Representatives, sending the plan to the Senate for final approval. If passed, the licensing of the TransCanada corporation to construct this pipeline will be the crowning achievement of the Palin administration.

    Meanwhile, Gov. Palin has put out a press release containing information that devastates the allegations made by former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. For instance, did you know that Todd Palin was ordered to discuss Trooper Mike Wooten with Monegan by the head of the Governor’s security detail? How about the fact that schedules disprove Monegan’s claim that he only met with Palin four times in seventeen months? It turns out that they had over two-dozen meetings during that time, including several visits by Monegan to the Governor’s home and joint trips to remote parts of Alaska. The circus looks to be drawing to a close, with Palin coming out squeaky clean!”

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  6. teddy
    Meanwhile, Gov. Palin has put out a press release containing information that devastates the allegations made by former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan


    devestates? th ronly thing that looks devestated is palin's reputation.

    sweaky clean. you sound like a political operative, you abd your alleged 'facts'.

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  7. Sexual Predator are you kidding me? Leave those comments for someone who has been convicted and actually committed a crime.

    "There may be a number of reasons why the victim didn't file suit. Perhaps she was satisfied with the remedy and didn't want to cost the chief his job. Perhaps she was scared she would lose her own job if she filed suit. Or perhaps she didn't have the money to file suit."

    Or perhaps she made it all up! And wait, she didn't try to do this harrassment thing several times before to other individuals did she? Hmmm PERHAPS there's a pattern there.

    Sarah Palin knew about this accusation when she chose Kopp and when it came out turned her back on Kopp. Rip on her she deserves it. But don't call a man a sexual predator when there is nothing but PERHAPS in the sentence.

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