July 20, 2009
Solid ethics complaint filed against Sarah Palin regarding unreported gifts
Ethically challenged Alaska governor Sarah Palin has been hit with another ethics complaint by fellow Republican Andree McCleod.
This is the 21st ethics complaint filed against Sarah Palin while she has been governor of Alaska.
See the McCleod complaint (PDF)
Daniel Sullivan, acting Attorney General
1031 W. 4th Avenue, Suite 200
Anchorage, AK 99501
To acting Attorney General Daniel Sullivan:
Please consider this ethics complaint charging Governor Sarah Palin for violations of the Alaska Executive
Branch Ethics Act. The charges are that she hasn't claimed all gifts received in a timely manner, if at all.
Sec. 39.52.130. Improper gifts.
(b) Notice of the receipt by a public officer of a gift with a value in excess of $150, including the name
of the giver and a description of the gift and its approximate value, must be provided to the designated
supervisor within 30 days after the date of its receipt.
(f) A public officer who knows or reasonably ought to know that a family member has received a gift
because of the family member's connection with the public office held by the public officer shall report
the receipt of the gift by the family member to the public officer's designated supervisor if the gift would
have to be reported under this section if it had been received by the public officer or if receipt of the gift
by a public officer would be prohibited under this section.
Sec. 39.52.960. Definitions.
(11) "immediate family member" means
(A) the spouse of the person;
(B) another person cohabiting with the person in a conjugal relationship that is not a legal marriage;
(C) a child, including a stepchild and an adoptive child, of the person;
(D) a parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, or uncle of the person; and
(E) a parent or sibling of the person's spouse.
9 AAC 52.060. GIFTS. (a) As used in the Ethics Act and this chapter, a gift is a transfer or loan of property or
provision of services to a public officer for less that full value.
FACTS: Sarah Palin has failed to disclose gifts of significant value received by her and her family as defined in
the Ethics Act.
Unclaimed gift: White hand-crafted beaded vest received in 2007
In response to my January 22, 2009 public record request for a copy of a
completed and signed gift disclosure form claiming receipt of a white
hand-crafted beaded vest Sarah Palin received while attending the
September 2007 Institute of the North Alaska Dialogue conference in
Talkeetna, the office of the governor replied on February 20, 2009 that
they were working on generating an estimate of its value.
I have yet to
receive a completed and signed disclosure form that claims Palin's receipt
of a white hand-crafted beaded vest.
Final Report on the 2007 Alaska
Dialogue (pg 8) 2007 Alaska Dialogue Photo Gallery (PowerPoint Slide Show in pdf format)
Unclaimed and undisclosed gifts: Palin/Heath family travel received in 2008
Documents show Sarah Palin and her immediate family have claimed gifts of free travel between the end of
August and the beginning of November of 2008. However, other members of the Palin/Heath family, as
defined by the Alaska Ethics Act, also received free travel during that same period. Inconsistently, those travel
gifts received by Palin's family have not been claimed.
Unclaimed and undisclosed gift: John Coale professional services starting in 2008
On March 29th, 2009 Greta Van Susteren penned a piece for her GretaWire website titled Huh? (attached)
(http://gretawire.foxnews.com/2009/03/29/huh-5/) That website has since been changed and the article has
been deleted. But, a copy of the original article is attached to the complaint. Here is an excerpt of Ms. Susteren
speaking about her husband John Coale providing free professional consulting and legal advice to Governor
Sarah Palin on how to deal with lawsuits, ethics complaints and unfair attacks by the media:
Yes, he advised her - after the election - how to set up a PAC (big deal - it is common - routine - for politicians
to set up a PAC - virtually every politician has one set up and there is nothing wrong with them.
incidentally, the PAC was created to pay travel bills she had accumulated and would accumulate in the future
and to contribute to other candidates .and the Pac was not to be her chief political advisers which is what
the article accuses.) And yes, he thought it wrong the way she was attacked in the media.
As a matter of fact,
so did I think she was treated unfairly by the media (I don't like gratuitous attacks.issues, yes..but not
gratuitous attacks) and I am not the only one who thought that in the media.
My husband helped with the PAC -
I did not - AFTER the election when she was not running for office but trying to dig herself out from
lawsuits, ethics complaints and unfair attacks by the media. Big deal.
So he was nice to her and wanted to
help her and did help her. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/20/greta-my-husband-is-not-a_n_177262.html
July 18, 2009 Newsweek reports while speaking about official State of Alaska business: (attached)
One of the main reasons Sarah Palin is stepping down as governor, say associates, is her large, unpaid legal bill.
Her successor, Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, says she is worried about "the cost of all the ethics investigations and the
like." But is that really the reason? John Coale, a Washington lawyer who helped Palin set up a legaldefense
fund and PAC, tells NEWSWEEK the fund is "well on its way" to paying off $500,000 in legal debt
from the campaign and another $100,000 in bills incurred later, leaving questions about how big a part money
woes played in her decision to resign. (Are Legal Bills To Blame) http://www.newsweek.com/id/207398?from=rss
Unclaimed and undisclosed gifts: UNKNOWN as per Sarah Palin June 15, 2009 letter (attached)
"There are boxes of unopened mail at this point, even mail that was delivered in 2008. Thus, as initially
disclosed, 'we continue to open boxes' and we consider any parcel "received" at the time it is opened."
The AK Ethics Act mandates that gifts be claimed within 30 days of receipt.
More than enough time has passed
for these gifts received in 2008 to be claimed. Sarah Palin's blatant disregard for our laws must be addressed as
the public's right to know has been infringed upon regarding gifts received by the governor.
I ask that the
following be strongly and seriously considered when reviewing this complaint:
Sec. 39.52.410. Violations; penalties for misconduct.
(c) If the personnel board determines that a former public officer has violated this chapter, it shall
(1) issue a public statement of its findings, conclusions, and recommendation; and
(2) request the attorney general to exercise all legal and equitable remedies available to the state to seek
whatever relief is appropriate.
Based on these facts, Governor Sarah Palin violated the AK Executive Branch Ethics Act by not claiming and
disclosing gifts properly or timely. We deserve to know who plied their governor with gifts. The scope of the
ethics code states that each public officer holds office as a public trust. For Sarah Palin to intentional and
willfully hide those gifts is a violation of that trust. To blatantly refuse to comply with Alaska ethics and public
financial disclosure laws and is a travesty. I'm requesting that this complaint be forwarded to the Alaska
Personnel Board. Thank you for your prompt attention. Please don't hesitate to contact me with your concerns.
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