Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Comments Regarding The Latest Frivolous Ethics Complaint

Another meritless complaint has been filed today, returning to the same theme the Personnel Board has already addressed and ruled upon. The Board already ruled that the Ethics Act was not violated when the Governor was on the campaign trail last Fall and accompanied by staff members. It further concluded that the State obtained more benefit from staff who volunteered services to the state than it cost. 

Further, the complainant misapprehends the travel authorizations. In order to avoid a potential overlap and implication of the Ethics Act, the McCain/Palin Campaign paid for the Governor’s travel and per diem expenses during the campaign, as well as expenses for key aides that accompanied the Governor. Contrary to the complaint, it is not an Ethics violation to save the state money and to avoid overlap between campaign costs and state costs. Rather, this was the more ethical and better approach, using campaign money even when state business was being accomplished remotely. The Board has essentially ruled as much. 

We have no reason to believe that this complaint will not be dismissed in the same manner this complainant’s other complaints have been dismissed. This complainant is known to the Administration as a disgruntled patronage job applicant. What is further obvious is that the ethics process continues to be misused for improper purposes, the law mandating confidentiality continues to be violated, and the state will continue to spend money reviewing these types of complaints, with no public good resulting. 

Thomas Van Flein - Personal Attorney for Governor Sarah Palin 

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