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Sarah Palin not under FBI investigation, agency spokesman says

The former GOP vice presidential candidate's surprise resignation as Alaska governor had set off speculation, including rumors of a pending federal corruption probe or charges.

July 05, 2009|Josh Meyer

WASHINGTON — A day after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin resigned, a federal official in her home state dismissed one potential explanation for her sudden and unexpected resignation: a rumored FBI investigation into the former Wasilla mayor on public corruption charges.

Despite rumors of a looming controversy after the Republican governor's surprise announcement Friday that she would leave office this month, some of them published in the blogosphere, the FBI's Alaska spokesman said the bureau had no investigation into Palin for her activities as governor, as mayor or in any other capacity.

"There is absolutely no truth to those rumors that we're investigating her or getting ready to indict her," Special Agent Eric Gonzalez said in a phone interview Saturday. "It's just not true." He added that there was "no wiggle room" in his comments for any kind of inquiry.

The FBI has been active in mounting corruption investigations in Alaska, some to see whether local, state and federal lawmakers illegally received favors, money or free construction work from businesses or people seeking favors.

The most high-profile case was against former Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, whose conviction last year on charges of lying on Senate ethics forms stemmed from charges that a politically connected developer had done work on his house illegally.

The Obama administration Justice Department threw out the charges in April, saying prosecutors had failed to turn over potentially helpful information to Stevens' defense team. Some bloggers have speculated that such an FBI investigation was underway on Palin, who still had 18 months left in her term.

Also Saturday, the former GOP vice presidential nominee posted a statement on her Facebook page, not offering specifics but indicating that she had broad goals after she leaves the governor's office.

She did not say whether she planned to run for president in 2012, but criticized media coverage of her announcement:

"How sad that Washington and the media will never understand; it's about country. And though it's honorable for countless others to leave their positions for a higher calling and without finishing a term, of course we know by now, for some reason a different standard applies for the decisions I make."

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josh.meyer@latimes.com

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