The loons have already gone off screaming down the road, but it's important to know the facts of the panel press release. From the AP article:
Headline: Panel: Gov. Palin abused power, but firing was legal
"Monegan's firing was lawful, the report found, but Palin let the family grudge influence her decision-making"
Ok, what was that "grudge"? Moneghan had refused to take action against Trooper Wooten. So what did Wooten do that annoyed the Governor?
"Wooten had been in hot water before Palin became governor over allegations that he illegally shot a moose, drank beer in a patrol car and used a Taser on his stepson. The Palins said they feared for their family's safety after Wooten made threats against them."
So before Palin was even Governor, Wooten was abusing his stepson, and so the threats he made against the Governor's family would reasonably be taken seriously. Can't really see why the democrats think this is unreasonable, actually.
So, the panel found she over-stepped authority. The loons are screaming for her arrest and jail. What could happen to Palin?
"Branchflower said Palin violated a statute of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. Lawmakers don't have the authority to sanction her for such a violation, and they gave no indication they would take any action against her. Under Alaska law, it is up to the state's Personnel Board -- which is conducting its own investigation into the matter -- to decide whether Palin violated state law and, if so, must refer it to the Senate president for disciplinary action. Violations also carry a possible fine of up to $5,000."
So, the worst she faces is a fine, and right now there is nothing to indicate the board is inclined to punish her at all.
So, the left trumped up a case, and when they finally got something that kind of, sort of helped them they went screaming exaggerations and some outright lies down the road. In other words, normal leftist behavior. But it sure reminds us of how much they fear Palin.
Update (Lorie): I can't imagine that Democrats in Alaska are terribly eager to pursue any "punishment" because the people of Alaska know better than most in the rest of the country not only the details of Wooten's behavior, and the non-Wooten-related problems with Monegan, but they also know who wrote this report. They know it was written by Palin's partisan political opponents who are also Obama supporters who promised an October surprise. They know she ticked off a lot of people by shaking things up and has opponents looking for anything to bring her down. And besides, most of the people in Alaska probably would prefer that a state trooper who drank on the job, tasered a child, and made threats against an elderly man not be running up and down their roads with a badge and a gun. Call me crazy, but that seems a pretty safe bet to me.
The first I read about the report was the AP account. Here is the AP lede :
Then I went to the actual report and found the following:
"ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Sarah Palin unlawfully abused her power as governor by trying to have her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper, the chief investigator of an Alaska legislative panel concluded Friday. The politically charged inquiry imperiled her reputation as a reformer on John McCain's Republican ticket."
Finding Number Two: I find that, although Walt Monegan's refusal to fire Trooper Michael Wooten was not the sole reason he was fired by Gov. Sarah Palin, it was likely a contributing factor to his termination as a commissioner of public safety. In spite of that, Governor Palin's firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercie of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.
Doesn't quite live up to the hype, huh? Jules Crittenden has a good post on the report and the coverage.