What exactly did Palin supposedly do wrong in “Trooper-gate”?

Consider a hypothetical: Imagine that the governor of a state, who has oversight responsibility for the state police, learns that an officer has allegedly issued death threats against his former in-laws, used a Taser weapon on a child, drank alcohol in his department vehicle, and possibly other violations of law and department policy. Would a reasonable observer (i.e. not a partisan trying to score political points) think it was inappropriate for the governor to inquire as to why this corrupt officer was still on the state payroll? Would it be unreasonable for that governor to inquire to the agency head why he hadn’t done anything about the matter? Would it be inappropriate for the governor to demand the offending trooper be dismissed?

If it would be reasonable for a governor to make such inquiries in the abstract, then why would it suddenly be unreasonable if the governor had some relationship to the offending officer.

Further, imagine if a (Republican) governor had a corrupt state employee who happened to be a relative, and upon learning of the problem did not take any action. The Democrats would be hammering our hypothetical governor for going easy on her scofflaw relative. The howls of righteous outrage would be at least as loud as those now directed at the Governor of Alaska. They’d probably bring the poor young Taser victim before the press or even a congressional committee to tearfully tell his story – “This poor boy was treated just like one of the innocent victims of the Bush Regime’s policy of torture at Guantanamo Bay!!! And the governor did NOTHING to protect this dear child!”

There may be additional facts that come out in Alaska that put Governor Palin’s alleged actions in a worse light, but so far that has not been the case. The press is reporting the allegations inaccurately (surprise, surprise!) every time they simply refer to the trooper as “the governor’s former brother-in-law” and leave out his alleged wrongdoing, implying that her actions were merely personal. A good governor ought to be concerned about a bad cop remaining on the state force. Doing the right thing doesn’t become the wrong thing just because the crook is your former brother-in-law.

UPDATE: Here is a helpful timeline of the events of Crooked-Brother-in-Law-Gate.

6 responses to “What exactly did Palin supposedly do wrong in “Trooper-gate”?

  1. This is exactly right. Flopping Aces has a great timeline on this, and http://www.notwrightforamerica.com has been busy destroying this whole Troopergate witch hunt matter all week.

    Great post here also.

  2. “Would it be unreasonable for that governor to inquire to the agency head why he hadn’t done anything about the matter?”

    Not true, there is a procedure and that procedure found four charges valid and suspended the trooper. The director has to follow the results of the hearing.

    “Would it be inappropriate for the governor to demand the offending trooper be dismissed?”

    Maybe not inappropriate, but since he was her ex-brother in law, it was certainly not smart. She knew, or should know the laws of her state, and if she didn’t agree with them, she should change the law.

  3. Will,

    Where’s your evidence for your assertions? Since you’re evidently an expert on Alaskan laws and agency procedures, please be specific.

  4. Wooten sounds like he was a ticking time bomb and potential big liability for the State
    of Alaska. If Palin had been a private citizen as she was when she first brought the character
    issue of Wooten into the light, this would not be an issue…however…if she knew of his
    risky and potentially dangerous behavior as a State official, and did nothing,
    and then something happened like he drove drunk while on the job
    (which several non-family witnesses have confirmed according to a CNN with Wooten), then
    Would we be criticizing her for knowing there was an issue and being silent…sounds like
    a double standard. I think we know that many law enforcement folks have crossed the line
    and the public (lawsuits) ends up paying the price. I am sure that Palin was just as
    concerned about the possible public liability issues as she was about her sister.

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