The Alaska Correctional Officers Association filed a lawsuit today against Governor Palin's administration. They claim the administration purposefully dragged its feet in getting the legislature to appropriate pay increases, thereby sabotaging new contract arbitration.
The Palin Administration says their introduction of the funding request was late in the session, but that there was plenty of time to act. The state claims the arbitrator's findings are now null and void and must be restarted. The money was not included in the governor's budget.
Last year, Corrections Commissioner Joe Schmidt earned a union vote of no-confidence. Schmidt allegedly dated Sarah Palin in high school. He is now second in line for the highest office in Alaska behind Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell should Palin be unable to finish her term. Palin appointed him to replace Walt Monegan of Troopergate fame. The no-confidence vote came as a result of correctional officers' exposure to the MRSA virus and hours being cut for essential prison guards.
Union president Sgt. Danny Colang told Jason Moore of KTUU, "It's still a raw issue. We're always willing to talk with the administration, but I always think there is an underlying issue there with that no-confidence vote that was taken last year, and I think they still hold that against us. There is still some vengeance, because we had a no confidence vote against one of (Palin's) good friends from high school, who is now our commissioner."
If Palin's track record were void of vengeance and retribution on a regular basis, this wouldn't be a story. Palin's administration denies the charge.