Palin testifies in ethics dispute

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">Republican vice presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, speaks at Minges Coliseum on the campus of East Carolina University Tuesday Oct. 7, 2008, in Greenville, N.C. &#40;AP Photo&#47;Jim R. Bounds&#41;</span></div>
October 24, 2008 5:46:15 PM PDT
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin testified for two hours Friday in an abuse-of-power investigation that has been a distraction to her Republican vice presidential campaign. Palin's leadership was questioned this month in a stinging but largely toothless legislative report that found she violated state ethics laws by letting a family dispute influence her decision-making.

Palin is hoping the Alaska Personnel Board, which is running a parallel investigation, will clear her of wrongdoing. It's unclear, however, whether any conclusion will be reached before Election Day.

"She felt this was an opportunity to get an unbiased, independent review of the facts," McCain campaign spokesman Taylor Griffin said.

The board is investigating the firing of her public safety commissioner, Walter Monegan. Monegan claims he was dismissed because he refused to fire Palin's former brother-in-law, a state trooper involved in a messy divorce from Palin's sister. The controversy, known as "Troopergate," took on national significance after John McCain selected Palin as his running mate.

The legislative inquiry found that Monegan's firing was proper but the pressure to fire the trooper, Mike Wooten, was not. Griffin says Palin stands by her decision to fire Monegan and her concerns about Wooten.

Palin and her husband, Todd, say Wooten was unstable and had made threats against their family. Wooten had also used an electric stun gun on his stepson.

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