Alaska AG resigns

Chris Rizo Feb. 10, 2009, 1:22pm

Talis Colberg (R)

JUNEAU, Alaska (Legal Newsline)-Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg has resigned, the governor's office said Tuesday.

Gov. Sarah Palin's office said in a statement that Colberg had resigned "in the best interest" of the state.

Colberg was appointed to office when Palin, a Republican, was elected in 2006.

"I determined that it was in the best interest of the State of Alaska to move on and pursue other opportunities," he said in a statement.

The attorney general, who is a gubernatorial appointee in Alaska, drew fierce criticism from state Democrats during the 2008 presidential campaign, when Palin was the Republican vice presidential nominee and the center of an abuse-of-power investigation back home.

Critics said he mishandled the so-called Troopergate scandal in which the governor was accused of abusing her power by firing of her public safety commissioner.

As attorney general, Colberg represented seven of the state employees who were subpoenaed as a part of the Legislature's investigation. He had unsuccessfully challenged the Senate Judiciary Committee's authority to issue subpoenas in the case.

Anchorage Superior Judge Peter Michalski rejected Colberg's request to quash the subpoenas. The judge also dismissed a request by a group of Republican legislators who sought to block the Palin investigation.

State lawmakers were also investigating whether Palin and several top aides pressured Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan to fire Trooper Mike Wooten, who was engaged in a bitter divorce and child custody dispute with Palin's sister.

Deputy Attorney General for the Criminal Division Rick Svobodny has been named acting Alaska attorney general.

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