The State Personnel Board has dismissed an ethics complaint filed against Gov. Sarah Palin.
It was the 13th ethics complaint filed against the governor or her staff that has been resolved with no finding of a violation of the state ethics law, the governor's office said Wednesday.
"We're grateful that the personnel board and its investigators have taken a rational approach to these matters, finding that the vast majority of the complaints did not even warrant the collection of evidence because they failed to assert any violation of law," Bill McAllister, the governor's spokesman, said in a statement.
Andree McLeod asserted in her complaint that Palin violated the Executive Branch Ethics Act in furthering her national political aspirations.
But the board, following the recommendation of an independent counsel, threw out the complaint for lack of merit. The governor's office says McLeod made eight separate allegations in the complaint against Palin.
The Anchorage woman initially claimed Palin violated ethics law twice, first when her office issued a press release announcing that Republican presidential candidate John McCain had selected her to be his running mate last August. The second part of McLeod's complaint involved Palin's participation at a National Republican Congressional Committee dinner.
McLeod alleged that the governor used state staff and their time to publish the press release and that the state resources were used for partisan political purposes.
The complaint also takes issue with an announcement that Palin would be the keynote speaker at the committee dinner. There was some confusion about whether Palin would actually give the keynote speech. McAllister ended up addressing the confusion to reporters.
In her complaint, McLeod alleges that Palin was using "her publicly funded partisan and publicly funded state staff and resources for personal partisan political purposes that have nothing to do with the state's interests and everything to do with her personal, extremely partisan political Washington, D.C., beltway interests."
Independent Counsel Michael Geraghty of DeLisio Moran Geraghty & Zobel, P.C., said neither accusation constituted a violation of the state ethics act.
Geraghty found the press release announcing Palin as McCain's running mate did not constitute a violation of the state ethics act.
While state resources were used, it can't be shown they were used "to differentially benefit a candidate or potential candidate for elective office or a political party or group," he wrote.
He concludes that, "the conduct involved was not improper, let alone a substantial violation of the Ethics Act."
McLeod amended her complaint the following month to include new allegations of misconduct, one complaining about a press release from her gubernatorial office that was featured on the Web site of Palin's political action committee, SarahPAC. Geraghty concluded that even if the new allegation was true, it wouldn't constitute a violation of state law.
McLeod argued publishing the state release on the PAC Web site demonstrated a coordinated effort between the governor's press office and SarahPAC and Megan Stapleton, SarahPAC spokeswoman and the governor's former communications director.
But Geraghty found that no state staff, time or resources were used in the formation of information on the SarahPAC Web site, and there was no violation of the ethics act.
Among other additions to the complaint, one alleged Palin used state staff, time or resources to attend an anti-abortion event in Indiana in pursuance of her own personal and political purposes, an allegation also discounted by Geraghty. He also found no wrongdoing in another addition to the complaint alleging the governor's daughter, Bristol, used state resources on behalf of the Candies Foundation, for which she is an ambassador advocating for teen abstinence.
He also found no merit in another McLeod allegation. He concluded that when McAllister told the media Palin would not be attending the White House Correspondents' Dinner earlier this month due to flooding in Alaska, it was a matter of the governor's schedule, and that is state business.
McLeod said Wednesday that it's troubling that Geraghty on May 14 requested she stop amending her complaint so that he could finish his work.
"When an attorney wants less information rather than more information during his investigation -- that's a sure tell-tale sign that they've already made up their minds to dismiss a complaint," she said.