Thursday, April 29, 2010

Alaska Fund Trust: Andree McLeod's December 2009 Ethics Complaint Dismissed, Kim Chatman's April 2009 Ethics Complaint Still Active

Thanks to the continued existence of the now-redundant Alaska Fund Trust, originally set up by Sarah Palin's supporters in April 2009 three months before her resignation as Governor to help her pay legal bills compiled defending herself in the "Troopergate" investigation and other ethics complaints, there remains unfinished "ethics" business from the Palin Administration. Two ethics complaints were filed over the existence of the Fund Trust; one by Kim Chatman in April 2009, and another by Andree McLeod in December 2009.

On April 28th, 2010, the Anchorage Daily News reported that while Andree McLeod's ethics complaint alleging misuse of official position and improper gifts was finally dismissed on April 27th according to Palin's lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, Kim Chatman's complaint is still active. The reason is that in response to Chatman's complaint, Alaska Personnel Board investigator Tom Daniel issued a report on July 14th, 2009 which suggested there was probable cause to believe that Governor Palin used, or attempted to use, her official position for personal gain in violation of Alaska statutes.

While Palin's team sharply disagreed with Daniel's interpretation, the money in the Fund Trust has since been frozen and will remain so until the personnel board resolves Chatman's complaint. However, the Fund Trust has continued to solicit donations, and Van Flein states that the dismissal of McLeod's complaint confirms the legality of the fund soliciting donations. Back in July 2009, Meg Stapleton estimated that it had raised about $250,000.

Thomas Van Flein also states that the personnel board is actively working on the Chatman matter, but can say no more about their progress, which is glacial at best. Van Flein's complete reaction is posted on Sarah Palin's Facebook page and on Conservatives4Palin. Van Flein reiterated that there was one reason - and only one reason - why Palin resigned; she did not want to see the state government continue to get bogged down with inane ethics complaints that were transparently political, plainly partisan, and wastefully diverting state resources.

This ADN story also illustrates how much Sarah Palin has retreated from public consciousness in Alaska. In the six hours since publication, only seven public comments have been posted. Six months ago, the same story would have triggered 70 or more comments in six hours. Alaskans are finally putting Sarah Palin on the back burner and moving on to more practical concerns.

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