Sure enough, it had to happen. Somebody else has now filed an ethics complaint against Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. This time, it's a resident of Eagle River who has participated in other litigation against the Governor. This brings the total number of ethics complaints against the Governor to 13.
According to the Anchorage Daily News' Alaska Politics blog, Kim Chatman, who voted for Palin in 2006, claims that the legal defense fund set up for Governor Palin to defray the costs of contesting ethics complaints is an ethics violation itself. Chatman filed the complaint on Monday April 27th, 2009 with the Alaska attorney general's office, seeking an investigation by the Alaska Personnel Board. View an AP photo of Chatman HERE.
-- Read the full three-page complaint HERE.
Chatman claims that Governor Palin is misusing her official position for political gain and receiving improper gifts. She further claims that Governor Palin is using her official position for personal gain and to intentionally secure unwarranted benefits to state workers who are poised to derive benefits from the Alaska Fund Trust, which is the official name of the Palin defense fund. Chatman maintains that the fund increases Palin’s conflicts of interests and erodes the faith and confidence of Alaskans in their public officers, thus violating the intent, purpose and spirit of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.
Chatman presumes that Governor Palin's accrued legal bills are because of her misconduct, her husband’s misconduct, and the misconduct of some of her staffers, although previous ethics complaints have not been substantiated. The only finding against Governor Palin to date was the abuse of power finding by the Branchflower investigation. Chatman's presumption of misconduct violates the customary presumption of innocence extended to a defendant in an adversarial legal situation. Alaska statutes cited in the complaint:
-- AS 39.52.120, Misuse of official position
-- AS 39.52.130, Improper gifts
Story now picked up by Free Republic, Conservatives4Palin, and a conservative Alaskan blog I was unaware of, AsTheFireweedTurns.
According to this comment on Conservatives4Palin, Governor Palin has reacted. Palin spokeswoman Sharon Leighow, issued the following statement in response to the complaint:
"As we've been saying, the number of ethics complaints filed against the governor and her staff -- as well as the tortured logic they contain -- continue to constitute the most disturbing trend in Alaska politics. It's obvious the intent with this unprecedented action against the governor is to see her administration paralyzed and for her to declare personal bankruptcy."
But what dilutes the integrity of this complaint in my mind is that there is more to Kim Chatman than meets the eye - a lot more. Chatman also is a co-plaintiff in a Federal lawsuit against Governor Palin for her alleged "snubbing" of Alaska's 2007 Juneteenth celebration, joining lead plaintiff Gregory Charles Royal. Chatman's joining in the lawsuit may prove problematic for Governor Palin, because as an Alaskan, Chatman satisfies the issue of legal standing by an Alaska resident, which was absent in the original complaint brought by jazz musician and America's Hot Musician judge Gregory Charles Royal in Washington, DC. The case, Royal et al v. Sarah Palin (previously filed as 09-cv-0484-new case number 1:09-cv-00428)., was summarized by US District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton in his order last month transferring the case to Alaska.
Kim Chatman has a much more vested personal interest in Juneteenth than most White people because she is married to an African-American man and has six bi-racial children.
Governor Palin's office has since responded to this allegation via e-mail by stating that although the failure was a clerical oversight, she is "not aware of any great distress in the African-American community of Alaska", and that, "except for those few of you involved in the mudslinging campaign last fall," she is not aware this matter "was ever commented upon by anybody".
Kim Chatman also had an LTE to the Anchorage Daily News published on February 23rd, 2009. She took issue with the Governor collecting per diem while staying at her Wasilla home.