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Palin Probers Set Up Anonymous ‘Tip Line’

-From the Associated Press:

Sen. Hollis French, the man heading the Palin investigation appears fifth from the right along with two other of the panel’s Democrat “investigators” in this photo taken at Obama’s headquarters in Alaska.

Palin’s attorney: Investigator ‘biased’

By GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer Thu Sep 11

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A lawyer for Gov. Sarah Palin is taking another stab at derailing the Legislature’s ethics investigation into the firing of her former public safety commissioner, accusing the retired prosecutor who is conducting it of acting unethically himself.

In two letters released Wednesday, Thomas Van Flein called the investigation “unlawful and unconstitutional” and said the man hired to run it, former prosecutor Stephen Branchflower, has a conflict of interest because he’s a friend of the fired commissioner. Citing “your seemingly biased conduct of the investigation in recent weeks,” he urged Branchflower to stop interviewing witnesses — the second time this month that he’s asked Branchflower to stand down.

Branchflower is looking into whether Palin, now John McCain’s running mate, canned Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan because Monegan wouldn’t fire a state trooper who was involved in a messy divorce from Palin’s sister, a probe that has come to be known as “Troopergate.”

The investigation has included setting up a secret tip line to “accept and investigate anonymous rumors and complaints outside the scope” of the inquiry, Van Flein alleged. He also said Branchflower has deposed witnesses without proper notice other attorneys.

Branchflower did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.

Van Flein sent one of the letters to Branchflower and the other to Democratic Sen. Kim Elton, who heads the Legislative Council, the body that unanimously approved the investigation in July. Both letters were dated Tuesday.

Elton this week rebuffed a Republican attempt to have Sen. Hollis French, an Anchorage Democrat, replaced as head of the investigation.

Van Flein wrote that both French and Branchflower are friends of Monegan but apparently failed to disclose those relationships to the Legislature. He did not say what he was basing those statements on or how he became aware of the tip line.

He has requested under Alaska’s open records law copies of all documents describing the hiring of Branchflower for the Troopergate probe, plus any “minutes, memos, notes and agendas” related to the investigation and e-mails among state lawmakers on the Legislative Council to Branchflower or French…

You see, the Obama campaign is all about issues

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, September 11th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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