But thanks to a comment appended by Akrose to this previous post, I have found out a possible reason why Monegan seemed a bit solicitous towards Wooten, who was accused of domestic violence. It seems that Walt Monegan himself was accused of domestic violence - and was the target of a restraining order against him by his then-wife - during a messy divorce case in 1994. The Alaska media has all but ignored this story, which was addressed on September 15th, 2008 in the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Chronicle openly speculates that Monegan's refusal to fire Trooper Wooten was based upon Monegan's own experience with a divorce-fueled domestic violence situation. Some of Monegan's troubles spilled all the way down to the Bay Area. Here's the applicable part of the Chronicle's story:
In October 1994, Monegan's estranged wife, who had moved from Alaska to the Peninsula with the couple's two daughters after more than 10 years of marriage, sought a temporary restraining order against him - accusing Monegan of threatening to kill her, waving a gun at her and dislocating her shoulder, according to her declaration on file in Santa Clara County Superior Court.
In an interview last week, Georgene Moldovan said Monegan had threatened several times to throw her body in an Alaska river.
Monegan, 57, who has since remarried, vigorously denied Moldovan's allegations, both in court papers filed at the time and in an interview with us last week. "I'm not a door slammer - I don't punch walls," he said.
Monegan admitted to dislocating Moldovan's shoulder, but said it was an accident that had happened before they were married, while they "were wrestling and tickling."
Moldovan was an emergency room doctor and professor at Stanford and shuttled back and forth from Alaska to the Peninsula the last seven years of their marriage. Monegan asked her for a divorce in 1993, but snapped when he learned he might lose the couple's house, she says. [Ed. Note: Alaska court records of the case can be found HERE.]
One day in April 1993, she said in her court filing, "he pulled out his gun and waved it at me outside my home and yelled he would kill me if I stopped him."
In the interview, Moldovan said Monegan "would show up unannounced and break into my apartment and do threatening things. I was forced to get a restraining order because I was really fearful he was going to harm me."
Monegan denounced the allegations as "either half-truths or pure fabrications." He points out that Moldovan made her accusations in the midst of a bitter fight over who would get the couple's daughters. If any of the allegations had been documented, he said, he would have been fired from his Anchorage police job and never been hired by Palin as Alaska's top cop in 2006. [Ed. Note: This is a valid point.]
As for whether any of his own troubles might have clouded his judgment in dealing with Palin's ex-brother-in-law amid his messy divorce, Monegan says no. "In a nutshell, I never have and I never will condone domestic violence," he said.
And while Monegan hasn't spoken to his ex-wife in years, he says, he is still on very good terms with her first husband - Alaska's U.S. attorney, Nelson Cohen.
It looks like one person is sufficiently enamored of Walt Monegan as to have launched a grass-roots campaign to get Walt Monegan to run for governor. This person has launched a blog entitled "WaltMoneganHonestLeadership".
This story about Walt Monegan is useful and pertinent - up to a point. It tends to explain why Monegan was a bit more solicitous towards Trooper Mike Wooten than he should have been. Mike Wooten should have been fired from the Troopers in 2005. However, Wooten does NOT deserve to be fired in 2008, if he has changed his behavior. And all indicators show he has changed his behavior for the better.
However, this story about Walt Monegan should not be used to denigrate his overall character, nor should it be used to justify the growing abuses of Troopergate. Here's why:
- The problems occurred in 1994, fourteen years ago.
- It resulted from a messy, contentious divorce. Divorce tends to uncover the rawest emotions, since it is the breakdown of the most personal and intimate form of human relationship in existence.
- There has been no reported recurrence of this behavior by Monegan. Had there been further problems, he would not have become either APD Chief or Public Safety Commissioner.
Walt Monegan's 14-year-old "sin" does NOT justify the amateurish, bumbling way in which Sarah Palin fired him. It does NOT justify Sarah Palin telling three different stories about why she fired him. And it also does NOT justify the stonewalling, to include the refusal of at least three individuals to respond to legislative subpoenas to date (a complete list of all individuals/items subpoenaed can be found HERE).
And it's the stonewalling that is now seriously eroding away at Governor Palin's popularity. Acording to this Mat-Su Frontiersman article about a 60-person Obama rally in Wasilla, Willow resident Steve Charles, chair of the Willow Trails Committee who was holding a sign reading, “Mushers for Obama”, said that he had nothing but respect for Palin until the McCain-Palin campaign began challenging the Troopergate investigation. In other words, it was the stonewalling that turned him against Palin.
Governor Palin needs to come forward and come clean on this issue if she doesn't want to end up a "Nineteen-Percenter" like Frank Murkowski (in reference to the fact that the then-incumbent Governor Murkowski finished third in the 2006 Alaska Republican primary with 19 percent of the vote).