State Investigator: Palin’s Legal Defense Fund Was Illegal

Greg Nash

The legal defense fund set up for Sarah Palin when she was governor of Alaska was illegal, an investigator for the state’s personnel board announced today.

Investigator Timothy Petumenos found that Palin acted in good faith in setting up the legal defense fund — but that the fund’s website improperly used the word “official,” implying the then-governor’s endorsement. Petumenos’ report comes in response to an ethics complaint filed when Palin was governor.

Palin’s lawyer said she’ll return the money.Former Palin aide Meghan Stapleton defended the former Alaska governor in a Facebook post today. Stapleton identified herself as “Mom, Wife, and Now More Knowledgeable Than Ever About Legal Defense Funds.”

According to the Summary of Findings in the decision released today by the Alaska Personnel Board, nothing illegal and nothing unethical occurred because not a penny has been distributed. Governor Palin did nothing wrong. And in fact, everyone is in agreement that Governor Palin acted in good faith.

Stapleton writes that Palin’s legal team believed the fund “was lawful in all respects,” but that “within a day or two” of its creation, “a complaint was filed against it challenging its legality.”

“And so started another prolonged legal battle – this time to determine if the legal fund created to defend Governor Palin against frivolous ethics complaints was itself ethical. Quite a circle really.”

So Governor Palin has reached a point where she decided to agree to resolve this matter with the investigator rather than spend time and money fighting an ethics complaint about a fund that was created to reimburse her for the money she has spent fighting bogus ethics complaints drawn up by insiders and outsiders violating and abusing Alaska law. Really, this is simple pragmatism and common sense.