Sunday, September 07, 2008

KTUU Channel 2 Confirms That Governor Sarah Palin "Bought" Former Commissioner Charles Kopp's Resignation For $10,000

It's getting more and more difficult to believe that Governor Sarah Palin's mishandling of Troopergate is attributable only to incompetence. On September 6th, 2008, KTUU Channel 2 reported flat out that Governor Palin, for all intents and purposes, "bought" the resignation of former Public Safety Commissioner Charles "Chuck" Kopp for $10,000.

KTUU confirms that a $10,000 severance payment made to Chuck Kopp concomitant with his resignation was accompanied with a specific promise from Kopp not to sue. Even though Kopp had not threatened to sue, the Palin Administration had Kopp sign the release anyway. Commissioners are normally considered "at will" employees, and generally receive no severance pay. The Department of Administration says that money for the payment will come from the office of the governor.

Governor Palin tapped former Kenai police chief Chuck Kopp to replace Walt Monegan after she fired him. However, the administration failed to properly vet him, and it blew up when it was disclosed that Kopp had a past history of sexual harassment. While the incident was three years in the past and there was no recurrence, Kopp, in his initial statements, minimized it. By the time he decided to level with the public, it was too late and the calls for his resignation had reached a crescendo. So Kopp resigned. In her public explanation, Governor Palin said she decided to toss in the severance pay in addition to the salary Kopp received during his short tenure to compensate for the "abuse" he'd been put through.

In fairness to Kopp, when he received the written reprimand for his sexual harassment, he was told the letter would be destroyed after two years if there was no recurrence. Since there was no recurrence, the letter was indeed destroyed. So when the media started dogging him about it, he didn't take their inquiries very seriously. This cost him. In retrospect, I think Kopp is a genuinely decent guy who just got swept up in some big league politics.

As for Governor Palin, it seems like there's a new revelation about Troopergate almost every day. This is exactly what I feared might happen when John McCain selected her as his running mate. And the left-wing media and blogosphere has been absolutely vicious, attacking her family, claiming that Trig was actually Bristol's son, etc. etc. The LA Progressive did an absolute hatchet job on her HERE. But the more that comes out about Troopergate, the more propaganda will be fed to the lefty forces. At some point, this will begin to hurt the McCain campaign. Governor Palin needs to knock off the charm act and the tap dancing, take control of this situation, and engage in full disclosure. Don't forget, Watergate started off small, too - nothing more than a third-rate burglary.

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