Hotshot Lawyer to Rep Palin in Ethics Tussle

Ex-official says guv fired him for refusing to fire her rogue in-law
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2008 11:15 AM CDT
Alaska's former Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, seen here in a January 2008 file photo, says he was pushed out of his job after refusing to fire Sarah Palin's former brother-in-law.   (AP Photo/Al Grillo)
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(Newser) – A private-sector lawyer is making the unusual move of defending Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her office in a state investigation into the firing of her public safety commissioner, the Anchorage Daily News reports. But the lawyer's request for witness statements and other materials was immediately shot down —"It would be highly unusual for an investigator to share information with one of the targets of the investigation," said the former prosecutor heading the probe.

He said the private counsel was unusual in that the state's attorney general would normally represent the governor's office. Alaska's legislature approved $100,000 last month to fund an inquiry into claims that the commissioner was forced out after refusing to fire Palin's former brother-in-law, considered a "loose cannon" by the family.