Sarah Palin has been out of office for five months now, but that makes absolutely no difference to Alaska's self-proclaimed "ethics Taliban" Andree McLeod, who is obviously intent upon destroying Palin and anyone who ever worked in her administration. And once again, McLeod is using the ethics complaint system as a weapon of political warfare against Palin.
On December 3rd, 2009, Andree McLeod filed a whopper of a mass ethics complaint against eight officials who served in Sarah Palin's administration, according to the Anchorage Daily News' Alaska Politics blog. The individuals named, all current and former governor’s office employees, include Mike Nizich, Randy Ruaro, Kris Perry, Rhonda McBride, Bill McAllister, Shelley James, Linda Perez and Mark Kelsey. They are alleged to have misused state resources during Palin's run as the Republican vice presidential candidate, in violation of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act (Alaska Statute, Title 39, Chapter 52). The complaint package is 213 pages long and is available from two sources:
-- As an attachment to the Alaska Politics story (takes about two minutes to load)
-- As a downloadable Docstoc document (hat tip to HuffPo for the link - loads much faster and is embeddable, as it is below)
In response, Judy Bockmon, an assistant attorney general and the state's ethics attorney, says ethics complaints being investigated are confidential and she cannot comment on their status or whether they even exist.
In her cover letter, McLeod refers to a gaggle of official SOA email communications from the governor’s office attached, which she claims shows collaboration between the McCain/Palin campaign and each other as partisan political campaign activities conducted while on the clock. McLeod continues to allege that although Nizich and Perry took personal leave while attending the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul last September, they used state resources for political campaign purposes. She maintains that Commissioner Kreitzer’s directive, as well as the AEBEA, wasn’t entirely adhered to by governor’s office staff.
McLeod further alleges that public records requests from the McCain/Palin campaign were given priority status and responded to immediately, while similar requests from members of the public and media were disparately delayed for weeks on end. Perez stuck to the AK Public Records Act’s 10-business day waiting period and then typically followed up with another 10-day extension before fulfilling most public record requests, while in contrast, it appears that information requests by the McCain/Palin campaign were processed within hours.
But get a load of this outburst of megalomania expressed by McLeod on the cover letter. Note that she specifically typed it in boldface so it would not be missed:
I’m requesting my complaint be investigated in as fair and unbiased a manner as possible. For the record, I’m prompted to file this complaint for exactly the same reason that every one of my other complaints have been filed with your department: solely for the reason of upholding ethical standards and protecting the integrity of state actions and state resources. To think otherwise is to abridge my rights as an Alaskan and American, among other things.
So merely disagreeing with Andree McLeod constitutes an "abridgment of her rights"? You've got to be kidding. Talk about being self-absorbed. This is a level of megalomania rivaled only by Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin. This lady has gone clear around the bend. Unfortunately, she is trying to take down a number of good people in her outburst of angst. As a matter of fact, it is the second time McLeod's victimized Kris Perry and Bill McAllister with ethics complaints. You can see the full list of ethics complaints HERE.
Hit the links and wade though all the e-mails if you want to. I have absolutely no intention of wading through them, not only because they're probably boring as hell, but also because of the six previous ethics complaints filed by McLeod, five have been dismissed (the other is still being investigated). Consequently, I see no reason why this one would be any more valid, particularly if past behavior is somewhat of a predictor of future behavior.
But what's also interesting is that, although McLeod was filing ethics complaints almost every two months during Sarah Palin's last year in office, she had not filed one since Palin's resignation - until now. Why the sudden activity? The answer could lie in the release of Palin's book, "Going Rogue". A brief description of Palin's characterization of McLeod is posted HERE.
This latest complaint is exactly why ethics reform is needed in Alaska. A person filing an ethics complaint must be required to incur some financial risk to screen out the spammers. Pay a $100 deposit upon filing; if the complaint is judged worthy of investigation, the money is returned, otherwise it is forfeited.
Additional stories and analysis of this issue found on Examiner.com and TheHill and Politico.