The Politico reported Friday that a longtime associate and former gubernatorial aide to Sarah Palin says he was asked to leave the governor’s office after the Palins discovered that he was dating the soon-to-be-ex wife of a close friend of Todd Palin.
John Bitney, who grew up in Wasilla with Palin, told the paper cum website:
I wanted to stay with the governor and support the governor — we’re talking about someone who’s been a friend for 30 years — but I understood it, and I have no ax to grind over the whole thing.”
Today, the Wall Street Journal added more to the story, reporting that seven weeks after publicly praising Bitney, Palin fired him for what her spokeswoman now describes as “poor job performance.”
During that time, Palin had found out from Scott Richter, a friend of Todd Palin’s, that Richter’s wife, Debbie, was having a relationship with Bitney.
The Journal notes that Palin’s office seems to have had trouble keeping its story straight on the reason for Bitney’s departure.
At the time, the governor’s office cited “personal reasons” for Mr. Bitney’s “amicable” departure, according to contemporaneous news reports. Last week, Sharon Leighow, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office, said “John Bitney was dismissed because of his poor job performance.” She declined to provide further details.