Saturday, July 26, 2008

Troopergate via Andrew Halcro

Troopergate: An abuse of power.

If you haven't heard of Monegan being fired and you live in Alaska, then you must really live in the bush of Alaska or you have become just tired of reading the news.

Last week Andrew Halcro, on his blog called our Governor Sarah Palin to task. It revolved around the firing of Department of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

The thread on it can be found on Andrew Halco's website here:

The title of the thread is Why Walt Monegan got fired: Palin's abuse of power

It seems Andrew Halcro has watched The Shipping News one too many times. There is a scene where Kevin Spacey is talking to the editor of a small town newspaper and they discuss construction of headlines and how to get the readers attention. The gist of the exchange is use sensationalism to sell papers.

I admit that when I first read the thread, I thought what in the hell is Palin doing. Why not? On the face of Halcro's story, what he alleged is pretty damning stuff. You have a highly thought of Commissioner who was fired, a Judge who had some scathing words towards the Palin clan and allegations of Governor Palin abusing her power.

Thus the catchy headline.....

Truth is a Funny Thing

When you write about behaviors of people and make allegations like Halcro did, you need to have your facts correct. In the story that Halcro wrote about, the story starts out with the allegation that Monegan, in part was fired for having a differing opinion on where Governor Palin and Commissioner Monegan wanted the Department of Public Safety to go.

Halcro writes:

Monegan said no, he couldn't cut his budget because his State Troopers were already being stretched to the limit and public safety suffering. He said no, he couldn't cut his budget because fuel costs for planes, boats and patrol vehicles soaring, while crime
in rural Alaska was putting more demands on the Troopers transportation system.

So there seems to be the difference in opinion, but Halcro never states specifics, so the story goes. This leaves the truth in the eye of the reader. What is interesting is Halcro has always been a staunch critic of Governor Palin in that she would not cut the budget. Now he is critical of Palin for making cuts in the operating budget.

In Halcro's eyes, it is evident that Governor Palin is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't. Halcro continues entering into the realm of poor investigative instincts. Again sensationalism being used "Trooper Mike Wooten: Being hunted by the governor."

Strong allegations and one has to ask Andrew Halcro, did the Governor have a permit? One might argue she did, I for one would say that she is the ultimate boss of the Troopers and if there is a bad trooper in the bunch, then she should ensure that the safety and welfare of the citizens of this state are met.

Andrew starts his side of the truth:

Beginning in spring of 2005 and for the next ten months, over 25 formal complaints were filed by Palin and Heath family members against Trooper Mike Wooten. From drinking while driving his patrol car to making threats to shooting a moose without a permit.

The allegation is that over 25 formal complaints were being filed by Palin and Heath Family members against Trooper Mike Wooten. Halcro continues:

In all cases except one, the charges were ruled unfounded after an internal investigation. And the one charge that was valid, Wooten immediately admitted to.

What Andrew Halcro doesn't tell you is that with Trooper Wooten, there are 11 incidents of confirmed misconduct by Trooper Wooten. Not your type of Trooper you would want on the Troopers. So it seems Halcro has an axe to grind against Governor Palin and will use deception to grind that axe.

Halcro goes on enlisting comments made by Judge Suddock:

Meanwhile in court, Wooten prevailed at every turn as Judge Suddock quickly
realized there was a concerted effort to damage Wooten. Finally the judge warned
that if any of their actions caused Wooten to lose his job or pay in anyway,
Molly and her family would be held liable.

Well again, it seems Halcro is not forth coming on telling the whole story while sharpen that axe he has for Governor Palin. Channel 2 news went digging and found more to the story than what Halcro wants his readers to believe.

What the Judge did say was:

"Mr. Wooten has his own set of immaturities, impulsivities and vulnerabilities
that come from just how he acts and how he responds and how he deals with
conflicts," Judge John Suddock said.

He did say:

"It appears for the world that Ms. McCann and her family have decided to take off
for the guy's livelihood -- that the bitterness of whatever who did what to whom has overridden good judgment," he said. "Aesop told us not to slay the goose wholays the golden egg. For whatever reason people are trying to slay the goose here and it tends to diminish his earning capacity."

What Andrew also didn't say is the case that was assigned to Judge Suddock had the case reassigned, meaning that there were problems with how the case was being handled.

To be continued..................

Update: There is strong indications that the DOJ is involved in an investigation and that all signs point to the Trooper's internal policies being questioned on handling Trooper's who have conduct problems.

When you had a Trooper alleged to have made a death threat against a member of a newly chosen V.P. candidate, things change real fast.

Update :

It is clear that Judge Suddock has lost control of this case. There is an underlying problem with Judge Morgan Christen in that she, according to people who work in OCS, have stated that her judgment is poor.

Update : Troopergate: The Facts on Palin and Trooper Wooten

Here is a copy on an investigation that was conducted on Trooper Wooten.The internet is filled with rumors and innuendo on this subject.

The fact is, Trooper Wotten had a previous record of misconduct and for all opinions, should not have been kept on the force. His misconduct goes back to 2001. Andrew Halcro had got a tip and spoke with Trooper Wooten about it. What Halcro did not do is check all of the bases.

What isn't being discussed is the fact that Branchflower who was chosen to investigate Palin, has a wife who was a Trooper that conducted an interview on a alleged sexual abuser who fled Alaska.

The Alaska Supreme Court case can be found here.

During Walt Monegan's tenure as APD chief the following took place. A grand jury indicted Gonzales on sexual abuse and tapes of the interview of Gonzales were lost.The Alaska Supreme Court never placed a time on when the tapes where lost, but an indictment was handed down when Monegan was APD chief. So the question is what happened during his tenure.

Notably Mayor Mark Begich let Monegan go too.The question should be asked are we dealing with Chief of Police who is not fit to manage?

Gonzales returned to Alaska in December of 2001. When Anchorage Police Detective
Kristie Neddeau learned that Gonzales was residing in Alaska, she resumed the investigation. In September 2002, the grand jury indicted Gonzales for four counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, two counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, and one count of attempted first-degree sexual abuse of a minor,1 based on Gonzaless alleged abuse of A.D. during 1991 and 1992. In addition, the grand jury indicted Gonzales on three counts of distribution of child pornography and seven counts of possession of child pornography,based on conduct in 2002.2


During the ten-year delay between the beginning of the Gonzales investigation and the indictment against him, the police lost video and audio tapes of interviews Branchflower had conducted with several witnesses. The police lost tapes of interviews Branchflower had conducted in 1992 with A.D., M.D. (A.D.s younger brother), Gonzales, D.D. (A.D.s mother), Art Costa(Gonzaless ex-father-in-law), Deolinda Gonzales (Gonzaless ex-wife), Andrew Gonzales Jr. (Gonzaless son) and K.G. (a self-professed second victim). Some of the tapes were audio and somewere video, and Branchflower interviewed some witnesses twice. However, the State provided Gonzales with transcripts of all interviews except the interview with Gonzales himself. Apparently, that tape was never transcribed.

UPDATE: As of yesterday 9/6/2008 I had a conversation with a woman who worked at the Job Corp out in the Matanuska Valley. She overheard a conversation I was having with another person about Governor Palin and Troopergate. She voluntarily stated that she knew Wooten and he had come into the Job Corp and harassed the workers there. She also said that contrary what was said about there being no abuse against Sarah's sister, she said there was and everyone knew it.

I would be not surprised to see the DOJ get involved in this case.


Ted said...

Take a look at the "Halcrowatch" blog site:

Ted said...

Lingering questions:

1. Who paid for Trooper Wooten's sudden extended vacation out of the coutry and unavailable for comment, that is, seeing he was on a State Trooper's salary reportedly complaining about child support arising from his divorce custody proceedings with Sarah Palin's younger sister? Is there a record of Wooten asking for leave from work?

2. Did the Democrats do some vetting of their own on the more than ethically clean Governor Palin, and the sum total of their sleuthing was that Palin's younger sister had been married to and later involved in a contentious divorce and custody proceeding with a State Trooper who made a death threat against the Palin sisters' dad if he retained a lawyer to represent his younger daughter in the proceedings, and because of that and other threats, Sarah Palin and her husband reported their concerns (at Public Safety Dept. direction) to the State Trooper's boss, Public Safety Commissioner Monegan, who happened to be a Governor appointee?

3. Why would Sarah Palin, manifesting great political skills throughout her career and is widely reported and acknowledged by her to being considered as a VP running mate for Senator McCain, choose to replace Commissioner Monegan prior to an imminent announcement by Senator McCain as to his running mate, rather than, if at all, after that announcement?

4. Why would Monegan, through a known political foe of Palin, facilitate to be known his contention that he was removed, in part, because he would not fire Trooper Wooten when the events surrounding the threats being reported to Monegan occurred some time in the past and Gov Palin was careful never to call for Wooten's firing, reiterating that personnel and disciplinary matters are not a regular part of her duties?