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Ethics Complaint on Governor's Apparel Dismissed


June 03, 2009

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin today welcomed news that another ethics complaint has been dismissed. This is the 14th ethics complaint filed against the governor or her staff that has been resolved with no finding of a violation of the Executive Branch Ethics Act. Those complaints contain 22 separate allegations, all of which have been found to be without merit.

The complaint, filed by Linda Kellen Biegel, a blogger designated by the 2008 Democratic National Convention to represent Alaska bloggers, alleged that the governor violated the ethics act when she acted as the official starter of the Iron Dog snow machine race in February while wearing a jacket with the name Team Arctic, a logo of the Arctic Cat Company. The complaint accused the governor of using her position and state resources to serve her personal financial interests. The complaint also alleged that the governor used state resources to promote a personal interest.

Thomas Daniel, the independent investigator for the State Personnel Board, concluded there is no evidence establishing probable cause to believe that Governor Palin used her position for personal gain by wearing a Team Arctic jacket at the start and finish of the 2009 Iron Dog race.

"My investigation has uncovered no evidence that the governor or her husband received anything of value in exchange for the governor wearing the Team Arctic jacket when she acted as the official starter of the 2009 Iron Dog," Daniel wrote in the report dismissing Kellen Biegel's complaint.

Daniel went on to write, "I also note that most jackets worn by Alaskans have a company name or logo on them. It is common to see jackets with logos of North Face, Patagonia, Eddie Bauer, Marmot, Cabella's, L.L. Bean and others. Indeed, it is more likely than not that any jacket that an Alaskan wears will have a company logo on it. So the fact that a person wears a jacket with a company logo on it is not evidence that the person is receiving a financial benefit as a result. To the contrary, it is the company that is receiving the benefit in the form of free advertising."

"This complaint cost the governor personally, and the State of Alaska, thousands of dollars to address," said Thomas Van Flein, the governor's attorney. "It is regrettable that the ethics process has been diverted for partisan purposes by some, but it is also commendable that the board remains focused on the law."


Source of News:

Office of the Governor


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Ketchikan, Alaska