Report vindicates governor, Palin spokesman says

Gov. Sarah Palin's communications director says investigator Steve Branchflower's report vindicates the governor with a finding that she "acted within her constitutional authority" to remove executive employees who serve at her pleasure.

That is a reference to former public safety commissioner Walt Monegan.

"However," said a statement issued about 6 p.m. by spokesman Bill McAllister, "along with several members of the Legislative Council, we question how Mr. Branchflower reached the conclusion that Governor Palin abused her power with respect to Trooper Mike Wooten."

McAllister's statement says that finding involved speculation on Branchflower's part and assumptions that can't be supported by the evidence before him. The report should be considered "in total rather than relying solely on the findings," McAllister said.

The governor's office also released depositions of seven state employees about internal administration discussions about Wooten.

Read the full statement

Anchorage Daily News