Walt Monegan, left, and Mike Wooten (Associated Press )
After Sarah Palin fired her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, setting off a chain of events that would ultimately become known as "Troopergate," she offered him the position of executive director of Alcholic Beverage Control, a demotion that he declined.
An investigation by the Alaska State Personnel Board would later find that she acted within her purview when she dismissed him but had acted improperly when she and her husband put pressure on him to fire their former brother-in-law, a state trooper named Mike Wooten.
Shortly after Monegan declined to take the new job, Palin spokeswoman Sharon Leighow disseminated two statements to the media. The first, by Palin, was a thinly veiled slap at Monegan for not accepting the position.
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"It was evident that Walt's interests and abilities in the area of public safety could be better utilized if he could concentrate his efforts more closely on issues dealing with rampant alcohol problems in rural communities where there is great suffering," Palin said in her statement.
"We recognized that there was an ideal opportunity for him to deal with bootlegging and other alcohol problems…Unfortunately, he chose not to serve the state in this capacity. We are moving the Department of Public Safety forward under new leadership."
The second, by Audie Holloway, director of the Alaska State Troopers, was a vote of confidence in the man Palin chose to replace Monegan, Charles Kopp.
"I have known Commissioner Kopp for several years and value the management skills he displayed during his tenure at the Kenai Police Department," said Holloway.
Unfortunately, two weeks after Palin appointed him, Kopp was forced to step down amid allegations that he had sexually harassed a subordinate when he was chief of police in Kenai.
In a July 16 email, Palin forwarded the two media statements to her chief of staff, Michael Nizich, and Kris Perry, one of her top aides. In a note to them at the top, Palin knocked Monegan for turning down the new job.
"Fyi - and I've tried twice now to reach Walt, including on the 14th and again today. No answer. (Maybe he has caller ID and he is not choosing to hear from me? My question would be short and sweet: "Just want to hear it straight from you, why'd you choose to turn down ABC position to help serve rural AK?"
There is no evidence of a Monegan response.
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