Palin Represented by Private Lawyer in Firing Probe
Posted Sep 2, 2008 4:59 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is being represented by an Anchorage lawyer in a probe into the firing of Alaska’s public safety commissioner.
Employment and professional liability lawyer Thomas Van Flein told KTUU.com that he was hired because the attorney general has a potential conflict of interest because he had contacted the public safety commissioner about the matter. Van Flein will make $185 an hour—which is less than his usual rate—to represent the governor and others in her office in a probe into the firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, the Anchorage Daily News reports.
The state’s Legislative Council is investigating whether Palin fired Monegan because he would not fire a trooper who had divorced Palin’s sister. Palin and her father maintain the trooper was a "loose cannon" who made threats against them. Palin has denied pressuring Monegan. The probe was sparked by a blogger’s accusations, the Associated Press reports.
Meanwhile, the American Lawyer says Palin received advice from different lawyers in two other legal matters. Anchorage lawyer Wayne Ross represented her when she filed an ethics complaint against a member of an oil and gas commission. The law firm Greenberg Traurig advised her on a deal involving a $27 billion natural gas pipeline.