Alask Court Rejects Palin Report Appeal

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The Alaska Supreme Court has rejected Republican legislators' demand towithhold a legislative report on whether Gov. Sarah Palin improperlyfired the state's public safety commissioner in a family vendetta. Thecourt's order clears the way for a 14-member legislative panel to votetoday on whether to release some or all of the 263-page report, andperhaps some of the hundreds of pages of supporting documents.

   Theinquiry was approved by a bipartisan vote in the Legislature andendorsed by Gov. Palin before Sen. McCain chose her as his runningmate.
    An outside investigator, Steven Branchflower, was hiredto determine whether the governor fired Public Safety CommissionerWalter Monegan because he refused to fire a state trooper who haddivorced Palin's sister.

   Branchflower also prepared a secondreport, roughly twice as long as the first one, that is expected toremain confidential because it contains exhibits with personnelinformation, the Anchorage Daily News reported today.
    Since McCain tabbed Palin as his running mate, the report and the timing of its release have become contentious.

   TheRepublican legislators whose Superior Court claim the state SupremeCourt rejected asserted that Palin could be irremediably harmed if thereport is released, but no one would be hurt if it is withheld.
    TheNew York Times reported today that Palin, her staff members and herhusband, Todd, contacted Monegan's office three dozen times to discussthe governor's ex-brother in law, Michael Wooten.

   Also today, aSuperior Court hearing is scheduled on a lawsuit aimed at forcing Gov.Palin to release emails on her private accounts that involve statebusiness. Former state employee Andree McLeod sued in AnchorageSuperior Court last week, demanding that Palin's emails that deal withstate business be made part of the state's public records.
    On Thursday, the McCain-Palin campaign released its own report, clearing Palin.
    If the legislators vote to release the report today, Courthouse News will post a link as soon as it becomes available.

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