Legal News - Republicans Want Palin Investigation to Hold Off
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In advance of Thursday's vice presidential debate, Alaska Republicans have filed a proposed order seeking to stop the investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin's dismissal of Alaska's public safety commissioner. In a separate motion, the GOP legislators ask for a new judge.
    The six Republican plaintiffs say The Alaska Legislative Council should be restrained because its "partisan misconduct violates due process and the right of subjects of a legislative investigation to a 'fair and just' proceeding."
    Also named as defendants are state Sen. Kim Elton, chairman of the Legislative Council; state Sen. Hollis French, who is leading the investigation; and outside investigator Stephen Branchflower.
    In their memo in support of their request for a restraining order, the Republicans claim that they will "suffer irreparable harm from the unconstitutional investigation," but the "defendants will not suffer any harm if the investigation is enjoined."
    Alaska's former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan says Palin removed him from office for refusing to fire the governor's former brother in law, who went through a nasty divorce with Palin's sister.
    Palin says she fired Monegan for "insubordination" in a budget dispute.
    Alaska's Republican Attorney General has said 10 state employees will refuse to comply with subpoenas to testify in the "Troopergate" investigation, unless the entire state Senate or Legislature votes to compel them to do so.
    In their original filing, on Sept. 16, the Republican plaintiff-legislators accused the Legislature of "conducting a 'McCarthyistic' investigation in an unlawful ... partial and partisan political manner."
    They claim the Legislature's investigators have a "predisposition to make findings against Governor Palin" and are trying "to affect the outcome of elections" by refusing to delay release of their investigation until after Nov. 4 - Election Day.
    The legislators have said the report would be completed by Oct. 10, but the plaintiffs say there is "no nonpartisan reason" that it "needs to be completed prior to the election on Nov. 4".
    Plaintiffs in the latest filing are state Reps. Wes Keller, Mike Kelly, Carl Gatto and Bob Lynn, and state Sens. Fred Dyson and Tom Wagoner. They are represented by Brena, Bell & Clarkson of Anchorage and the Liberty Legal Institute of Plano, Texas.

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