Alaska AG says Palin aides will testify in abuse-of-power probe

By Chris Rizo | Oct 5, 2008

Talis Colberg (R)

Sarah Palin (R)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Legal Newsline)-Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg said Sunday that seven state employees have agreed to testify in an abuse-of-power investigation against Gov. Sarah Palin.

The state Legislature is probing whether Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, abused her office by firing Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan because he would fire a state trooper involved in a bitter child custody dispute with the governor's sister.

For her part, Palin has said Monegan was fired over budget and spending disagreements.

The attorney general, who is a gubernatorial appointee in Alaska, had challenged the Senate Judiciary Committee's authority to issue subpoenas in the case.

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

"Despite my initial concerns about the subpoenas, we respect the court's decision to defer to the legislature," Colberg said in a statement Sunday. "We are working with Senator Hollis French to arrange for the testimony of the seven state employee plaintiffs."

The investigator hired by the state Legislature, retired state prosecutor Steve Branchflower, is expected to complete his report to the state Legislature by Friday.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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