When you have your cake and eat it too...well, it's bound to get frosting on your face.Then everyone else can see it. Grab a napkin...I'll explain.
During the Troopergate investigations, the abuse of power charges against Todd Palin for pressuring others to fire Commissioner Walt Monegan were hard to pin down. Why? Because he wasn't under the same ethics laws as an employee of the state.
In the Troopergate case, Petumenos reported that Palin's staff may have been involved in a campaign against Palin's former brother-in-law, State Trooper Mike Wooten, who Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, had at various times tried to have fired.
Petumenos concluded that when Todd Palin took actions such as calling Monegan into the governor's office and pressuring him to fire Wooten, he was a not a state employee and was not covered by the laws relating to state employees.
"Mr. Palin was a private citizen not within the jurisdiction of the Ethics Act," Petumenos concluded.
Nearly 3,000 pages of e-mails that Todd Palin exchanged with state officials, which were released to msnbc.com and NBC News by the state of Alaska under its public records law, draw a picture of a Palin administration where the governor's husband got involved in a judicial appointment, monitored contract negotiations with public employee unions, received background checks on a corporate CEO, added his approval or disapproval to state board appointments and passed financial information marked "confidential" from his oil company employer to a state attorney.
But Sarah Palin's attorney, Thomas Van Flein, issued a statement saying Todd Palin had official and unofficial duties.
"Todd Palin was, and remains, a close advisor to the governor," Van Flein said. "Those in the administration knew this, and the public knew this. There is nothing unusual, untoward or inappropriate for a spouse of a chief executive to provide guidance, input and hands on assistance."
Van Flein also noted that Todd Palin had no designated office, received no pay, and had no staff. But the e-mails show that he was still a decision-maker for the state during his stint as "First Dude."
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