Sarah Palin may be the former governor of Alaska, but she's getting the state's legal help in the present. Activist Chip Thoma is suing Palin for at least $100,000, for what he says was her role at the helm of a campaign to "punish, embarrass, discredit, and silence" him after he griped about tour bus traffic that swamped the narrow streets around the governor's mansion following her failed 2008 bid for VP. Assistant Attorney General Dale House says it's not unusual for the state to get involved when a suit stems from something a person did in the course of official duties.
House explained the state will cover the expense of his involvement, but will not pay for Palin's personal lawyer, who will serve as co-counsel. Thoma's lawsuit claims Palin and unidentified conspirators retaliated after he posted and handed out signs about the traffic issue, in some cases "twisting" his words and in others, "concocting complete fabrications" to silence him, reports the AP. He based it in part on a leaked passage from ex-Palin aide Frank Bailey's book, which claims her aides went into "overdrive" to discredit him after she grew frustrated with him. Thoma says he's OK with the state's involvement, since it means that during discovery he can get access to any emails on the issue between Palin and her aides. (Read more Sarah Palin stories.)