Sarah Palin testifies over allegations she abused her powers during a long-running personnel controversy.
Palin testifies in ethics dispute
ST. LOUIS // Sarah Palin testified before an independent investigator yesterday over allegations she abused her powers during a long-running personnel controversy that has now distracted from her Republican vice presidential campaign. Ms Palin waved but did not speak to reporters when she arrived at a Missouri hotel for her deposition, scheduled to last two hours before a lawyer from the Alaska Personnel Board. The board is investigating whether Ms Palin abused her powers by firing her public safety commissioner. The commissioner claims he was dismissed because he refused to fire Ms Palin's former brother-in-law, a state trooper involved in a messy divorce from Ms Palin's sister. The scandal, known as "Troopergate", took on national significance after John McCain selected Ms Palin as his running mate. "She's been looking forward to this day", Ms Palin's lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, said yesterday. "She would like to tell her story and she'd like people to know the truth". A legislative investigation found that Ms Palin had every right to fire the commissioner, Walter Monegan. But the report found that Ms Palin violated state ethics laws by trying to get her former family member kicked off the force. Ms Palin and her husband, Todd, say the trooper, Mike Wooten, was unstable and had made threats against their family. Mr Wooten had also used an electric stun gun on his stepson. "I make no apologies for wanting to protect my family and wanting to publicise the injustice of a violent trooper keeping his badge", Todd Palin said in an affidavit submitted to legislative investigators. Sarah Palin was not subpoenaed in that investigation. Yesterday's testimony before independent investigator Timothy Petumenos was the first time she spoke at length or under oath about the controversy.