"The whole Monegan thing -- I am glad that we've already gone through two different processes now. The Personnel Board, which is where it should have been all along and the Legislative investigation of it also. It's done. It's over. People need to move on," Palin said. "It was from the very beginning Walt Monegan admitting that I did not pressure to hire or fire anybody. He stated that on the record, he knew why he was asked to move into another position, he stated as much when he said his good bye e-mail to his fellow cabinet members, saying I didn't communicate with the governor.'"
But the Legislative investigator, Steve Branchflower said the governor did abuse her power because she did not stop others, including her husband, from pressuring Monegan about Wooten.
"Look, the Department of Law tells all Alaskans, including my husband, tells everybody on their Web site, if you have an issue with an Alaska State Trooper you go to the Department of Public Safety commissioner's office and express that concern," Palin said. "That's what Todd did. There was nothing wrong with that. Todd acted as any responsible, sensible husband and father would when their family or family members were being threatened. He did what he was supposed to do."
Palin expressed concern over the process after a trooper complaint is filed.
"Never knowing well, what the status of it is it? Is anybody listening? Does anybody care?" she said. "I think here is purpose in us going through all this so that we know what other people go through when they understand that they're trying to follow the rules, they're expressing a concern yet bureaucracy kind of stifles their opportunity to know any kind of outcome or progress
Both reports found the governor was within her legal rights to fire Monegan, an at-will employee. And at least so far there appears to be no changes coming because of either report.
"So, yeah, Branchflower took issue with perhaps persons around me -- he believing they shouldn't have done what they did. Personnel Board, they had a different finding. Regardless, though, the issue is over, it's settled," Palin said. "Walt Monegan was asked to step down as DPS commissioner, move into another position. He chose not to, I exercised my right and my responsibility to replace a commissioner who I believe would have better served the state in a different capacity."
Palin is a talker. But for two weeks after she joined the Republican ticket, we heard little from her.
Palin says she did make a few calls to reporters, shocking McCain campaign staffers, who did not realize local media had the governor's cell phone number.
"I said, That's the way we roll in Alaska, yeah.' I talk to reporters every single day, and I think they were kind of surprised at that."
Palin says the campaign was not happy about her reaching out, but stops short of calling it a reprimand when she'd branch out on her own.
"I don't know if I'd characterize it as reprimanded, but I think there were a lot of questions of me when I made a couple phone calls," she said. "And this was no doubt because they desired consistency in message, and that's part of strategy in a national campaign.
"But, you know, I'm just a strong believer in part of our democracy being the provision of checks and balances provided by the media is so important, that you're talking to them -- as tough as it gets some days, to have to sit there and face you guys -- it's part of the job and is a very strong part of our democracy."
Contact Rebecca Palsha @ firstname.lastname@example.org