Patterico's Pontifications

9/6/2008

Tasergate: Trooper Told He Has History of Unethical Conduct, and Will Therefore Get a Very Stern Slap on the Wrist

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:53 am



Tasergate update: why did Sarah Palin consider Trooper Michael “Taserman” Wooten to be a menace? Here’s part of the reason. Courtesy of Beldar comes a link to the letter which suspended Trooper Wooten for ten days.

The letter is lengthy, and so are the quotes I provide below. For those short on time, I’ll summarize the letter by paraphrasing it, as follows:

You tasered your ten-year-old stepson. You drank and drove a marked patrol car. You did other illegal things. You have a lengthy history of discipline for things like dangerous driving and using duty time for personal business. You have horrible judgment, bad moral character, and show no sign of wanting to change. Someone like you reflects badly on the department. You embarrass us all by your mere existence, and someone like you should never be a peace officer.

Ten day suspension!

I stress that this is a paraphrasing of the letter, written in my words. But read my complete post, and you will see that I have fairly summarized the essence of the letter.

If you’re short on time, just run your eyes over the parts I have bolded.

Details in the extended entry.

The violations sustained against Wooten include: “Using a Taser on your ten-year-old stepson, Payton (in a training capacity).” Also listed are illegal shooting of a cow moose, and drinking before and during the driving of a marked patrol car.

Here are some fun quotes. Again, I have bolded my favorite parts:

The judgment you have demonstrated and the choices you have made during these violations is of grave concern. The use of your department issued Taser on a ten-year old child, your stepson, Payton demonstrated extremely poor judgment and a consci[ous] choice you made to violate the department’s standards of conduct. . . . [A]s a Taser instructor, you have been well trained in the application and risks associated with the use of the weapon on a child. . . . Your lapse of proper judgment and unacceptable conduct is very serious in nature and on [its] own, this matter warrants corrective action.

Oddly, Colonel Grimes actually seems even more upset over Wooten’s illegal hunting:

The issue of the wildlife violation has even deeper ramifications. As a hunter and certainly, a law enforcement officer you knew or should have known the conditions for the drawing permit and the hunt. The fact that you are currently assigned as a wildlife crimes investigator exponentially exacerbates this violation as it is absolutely contrary to your current assignment.

Then there’s the whole “drinking while driving a patrol car” thing:

The issue of drinking alcoholic beverages (beer) prior to operating, and then during the operation of a marked patrol vehicle not only exposed the Department to liability, but further demonstrates your lack of judgment and a profound disrespect for the responsibilities of a law enforcement officer. We as police officers are held to a higher standard of conduct and duty than the average citizen. We routinely contact and prosecute those who are either driving under the influence and prosecute those who are either driving under the influence of who have open containers of alcohol in the vehicle while driving. Your conduct in this incident demonstrates a lack of good character, and a disregard for the law you are sworn to uphold. If you had been involved in an incident or an accident immediately following this event, your action would not only have involved criminal liability, but also exposed the Department to great discredit, embarrassment and additional civil liability. Of greater importance is the face that because of your actions, the integrity of every other State Trooper is in question. This is unacceptable.

Unacceptable, eh? We’ll see. Keep reading.

The letter then sets forth Wooten’s history of past disciplinary actions, including a warning, a reprimand, three “instructions,” a suspension, and a “Memorandum of Expectations.” The listed offenses include multiple complaints of unsafe driving and traffic violations, and multiple issues relating to use of duty time for personal business.

The history noted above indicates a significant pattern of judgment failures, during which you have repeatedly shown yourself incapable or unwilling to maintain a demeanor demonstrating or embracing departmental expectations for your proper and appropriate conduct. The history bears out your failure to change or correct your behavior or your inability to behave according to our canons of police ethics and rules of conduct. The findings of the administrative investigation indicate that in addition to the events addressed above, that activity sustained in the investigation was occurring concurrently. The record clearly indicates a serious and concentrated pattern of unacceptable and at times, illegal activity occurring over a lengthy period, which establishes a course of conduct totally at odds with the ethics of our profession.

That certainly sounds pretty bad.

And, quite remarkably, Colonel Grimes tells Wooten that a civilian in his place would probably be prosecuted:

The event and behavior sustained during this Administrative Investigation not only brings discredit to the department by having a trooper violate law, but also documents a continued course of conduct rife with poor judgment and violation of policy. It is nearly certain that a civilian investigated under similar circumstances would have received criminal sanctions. These events are unacceptable, constitute a gross deviation from our department’s standards, and will not be tolerated.

Will not be tolerated, huh?

Wanna bet?

Here’s the very next line of the letter:

Based on the totality of this review and your past history, you will be suspended for ten working days.

BAM! Ten day suspension, mister!!

Yup. He has engaged in a “continued course of conduct rife with poor judgment and violation of policy” and illegal conduct that would probably have gotten a civilian prosecuted. He has repeatedly demonstrated himself to be unable or unwilling to conform to departmental standards.

So . . . they decided to keep him.

Keep in mind that this isn’t everything Wooten has been alleged to have done (I didn’t mention the death threats, for example). It’s merely everything covered by this ethics complaint that was sustained.

Yeah, I guess Sarah Palin was really a bad person for wanting to do something about a guy like this.

Next scandal, please.

P.S. Maybe even funnier, in a scream-in-frustration sort of way, is that (according to Beldar) Wooten’s union actually challenged the severity of his sentence! Yup, ten days was apparently too severe for the actions you just read about.

This is the same union bringing a new ethics complaint against Sarah Palin — something that got Andrew Sullivan all excited a couple of days ago. That ought to tell you something about their credibility.

UPDATE: Taserman speaks to the Washington Post, which confirms previous reports I’d read that Wooten’s actual suspension ended up being a whopping five days and not the ten mentioned in the letter. He denies the death threats — and who wouldn’t believe a man as credible as the one described above?

Also, I have changed one sentence in my summary from “You drank and drove on the job” to “You drank and drove a marked patrol car.” Although the letter states that the Department would have been subject to liability if Wooten had gotten into an accident, possibly tending to suggest that he was on duty, we don’t know that, and a commenter points to an editorial saying that he was off duty when he drove a marked patrol car while drinking.

That editorial, by the way, asks: “If what trooper Wooten did doesn’t justify firing, what does?” (The editors didn’t positively opine that Wooten should have been fired (as I have) but make a persuasive case that the standards should be more clear.)

57 Responses to “Tasergate: Trooper Told He Has History of Unethical Conduct, and Will Therefore Get a Very Stern Slap on the Wrist”

  1. Patterico – first, please don’t ever write the words Andrew Sullivan and excited in the same sentence again – you just ruined my lunch.

    Second, can someone please explain to me why the media is so important to the process of digging for the truth? You and Beldar don’t do this for a living, and you’re kicking their pathetic partisan ass all over the place.

    Third, remember, to a leftist, ten days of punishment for any crime seems like too much. Society’s fault and all, you know. And if the criminals are all in jail, who will vote Democratic?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  2. Proving once again that all of the lies, smears and innuendoes are going to backfire on the Trolls (MSM) for Obama. The more they keep digging, the bigger the hole for their backsides becomes.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  3. Dayum! That Sarah Palin is just one mean chillbilly.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  4. This letter is all I would need to can Col Grimes.
    His unfitness for office is only exceeded by Wooten’s – and Wooten should be in prison.
    BTW, have you seen what serious poaching convictions bring in CA? And poaching is a real no-no in AK.

    Another Drew (e872c7)

  5. I don’t defend any of Wooten’s actions here, but there’s one aspect of your summary that looks like it’s wrong:

    You tasered your ten-year-old stepson. You drank and drove on the job.

    The letter doesn’t say he drank and drove on the job. It says he drank before and during the operation of a marked patrol vehicle. According to the Anchorage Daily News, he was off-duty:

    Mike Wooten got a 10-day suspension, later cut to five days, for drinking off-duty in a patrol car, using his state-issued Taser on his stepson, illegally shooting a moose on his wife’s permit and threatening his father-in-law.

    Foo Bar (03f778)

  6. Apogee —

    I’m betting Andrew is immune from this .

    capitano (211a15)

  7. Every woman who’s ever been abused and hears this story will see how Sarah Palin handled herself, and make their own decision about Palin’s conduct. So far, there’s no downside.

    Let the Left yell and scream, they can’t touch Palin, and these phony attacks will only attract the attention of voters, and serve to draw a sharp distinction between the hysterical gutter snipes on the Left, and this good and decent woman.

    Sarah Palin only benefits from the comparison with her detractors. She’s the real thing, and it shows.

    Ropelight (49e412)

  8. Foo Bar – Why do you assume the ADN is right?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  9. I’m not saying it’s not, but to automatically assume so in the absence of other evidence is not necessarily the best course.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  10. Foo Bar…
    Please explain this:
    “…prior to operating, and then during the operation of a marked patrol vehicle…”
    Now, you contend that he was off-duty.
    Was the vehicle posted with a sign that is was out-of-service?
    If not, any civilian seeing it being driven, by a uniformed or plain-clothed officer, would logically assume that it was being operated by someone who was on-duty.
    Therefore, the violation of policy.

    Another Drew (e872c7)

  11. I’m not saying it’s not, but to automatically assume so in the absence of other evidence is not necessarily the best course.

    That’s why I said Patterico’s summary “looks like it’s wrong” on this point. I suppose it’s possible that the Anchorage Daily News is wrong, but I doubt it, given that the disciplinary letter itself does not say that he was on-duty.

    Foo Bar (03f778)

  12. State Troopers in Alaska may take their vehicles home at night. Who knows. Foo Bar just likes to make nit picky points. Grimes’ letter was silent on the point. I don’t see any authority pointed to in the ADN article, so if a change is made I recommend sticking to the Grimes version. I don’t see how it seriously affects the gravity of the offenses.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  13. Well, if he wasn’t on-duty, what the Hell was he doing driving a black-and-white?

    Another Drew (e872c7)

  14. Uh, technically, we have no evidence that the kid wasn’t actually committing some sort of crime at the time of the tasing….

    What if he killed someone in a government vehicle while drinking off duty? You don’t think there’s a liability there?

    The left and their flailing is just pathetic.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  15. Therefore, the violation of policy.

    I don’t dispute that it’s a violation of policy. Nonetheless, it seems clear to me that it would be a significantly more serious violation if he was on duty. After all, the same Anchorage Daily News editorial which I already linked asks: if Wooten didn’t get fired, then what would it would take to get fired? The director of the trooper union is paraphrased as saying:

    In addition, immediate dismissal is possible in cases of gross disobedience, drug or alcohol abuse on the job, physical abuse of either a co-worker or member of the public, and abusive or lewd behavior in general.

    I’m not taking a position one way or the other on whether Wooten should have been fired. I think it’s worthwhile to get the details of his offenses right, though.

    Foo Bar (03f778)

  16. Sworn peace officers are never off-duty, just off the clock. They always have an affirmative duty to enforce and, I imagine, obey the law.

    And how do we explain the Colonel’s concerns about exposing the department to civil liability? Police cars do not invoke respondeat superior — police officers do.

    nk (21731d)

  17. It’s interesting to watch the straining at gnats here regarding drinking and driving a black-and-white vehicle.

    The real issue is not in dispute:

    Using a state issued Taser to torture his stepson.

    That, in and of itself, is sufficient for dismissal.

    Period.

    And if anyone thinks differently, I sure hope that they feel that waterboarding is A-OK. After all, waterboarding doesn’t kill anyone.

    On the other hand, I have no trouble with waterboarding potential terrorists. I do have a problem with Taser children under the age of twelve. Especially when an officer of the law—and stepfather—does so.

    Don’t you?

    Nitpicking is not necessary, FB. Move on to a different topic, to coin a phrase.

    Eric Blair (36c1a9)

  18. Foo Bar – The editorial then goes on to say it’s a gray area and a judgement call and that’s what apparently happened in this case. I’m not persuaded by the evidence in the editorial. I would go with the Grimes description. It is an official document. A newspaper editorial is not.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  19. “Foo Bar just likes to make nit picky points.”

    Why do I have the feeling that Foo Bar completely agreed with the notorious and lawyerly excuse of “no controlling legal authority.”

    How about it, Foo Bar? Did you buy that one?

    Dmac (e639cc)

  20. Funny but from my vantage point in reviewing the union’s standard:
    “gross disobedience, drug or alcohol abuse on the job, physical abuse of either a co-worker or member of the public, and abusive or lewd behavior in general.”
    Wootan was grossly disobedient, engaged in physical abuse of a member of the public and engaged in abusive behavoir in general. Yet, the union belies it’s supposed agreement as to what constitutes misconduct justifying termination by fighting even a ten working day suspension for their misanthropic and dangerous law enforcement officer. If that officer had did something hideous after this came to light, the State would face a multi million dollar lawsuit for their refusal to terminate that officer.
    This scandal should be known as Tasergate.

    eaglewingz08 (98291e)

  21. The focus should be kept on the child abuse aspect of this.

    Eric Blair (36c1a9)

  22. I would go with the Grimes description. It is an official document.

    Fine by me. The Grimes letter doesn’t say he drank and drove “on the job”, so Patterico’s post probably shouldn’t, either.

    Foo Bar (03f778)

  23. The “moderators” at Washington Monthly have discovered a new trick. They used to delete my posts (and I assume any others that disagreed with the leftist POV), especially if they had links inn them. Now what they have done is to delete part of the post, leaving another poster’s comment about my (absent) post, but deleting my reply. This is how the Obamabots keep their spirits up.

    Look for yourself. The Fairness Doctrine in action.

    I’ve pretty much given up on them since Kevin Drum left but the frenzy about Palin is entertaining.

    Mike K (155601)

  24. “Next scandal, please.”
    Then why did she lie Pat?
    And why after saying she’d cooperate is she now refusing?
    And why are those who agreed to testify now clamming up

    “This week, seven key witnesses informed Mr. Branchflower through their attorneys that they would not provide depositions. Their depositions, which had been agreed to and scheduled earlier with Mr. Branchflower, were cancelled within the last 72 hours.”

    So isn’t there anyone with investigatory power, or even just lawyerly or reportorial skills, who could inquire into exactly how all these witnesses to “troopergate” happened to obtain lawyers and then all follow the exact same tactic in the same 72 hours? Who are their lawyers; who is paying their lawyers? And many other questions that follow.

    It’s not the crime it’s the cover up. And she’s claiming executive privilege!!??

    JAR (08f6d2)

  25. Did someone offer a factual basis to re-open the investigation of Trooper Wooten?

    He should have been dumped in 2005. But I can’t imagine an officer-involved shooting would invite as much scrutiny as this single disciplinary personnel matter.

    steve (1c7428)

  26. Before I had a daughter to raise, anybody who said my father would “eat a f—– bullet” would have received the benefit of the front end of my deer rifle. I admire Governor Palin’s restraint in this Wooten mess.

    nk (21731d)

  27. What “7 key witnesses”?
    Do you have names?
    And what is their relationship to the Governor?

    Another Drew (299eef)

  28. Foo Bar’s point is nit-picky, but I appreciate nit-picky corrections as well as more substantive ones because they help the blog be better. I have updated to reflect our lack of knowledge re the on duty status, coupled with the (unsourced) claim in the editorial that he was off duty.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  29. I live in a part of the country that, like Alaska, has an economy primarily based on oil and gas exploration and production. As everyone knows, oil and gas prices are high now and have been for some time. There is a large demand for oil field workers and, as with any supply and demand imbalance, the workers command high wages. I bet the same is true in Alaska.

    Unlike other parts of the country, unemployment in oil and gas producing areas is at record lows and non-oilfield employers have a tough time keeping employees because so many are moving into high-paying oilfield jobs. Local newspaper articles portray this as an especially difficult problem for State and local law enforcement, whose wages are set in State and local budgets and can’t be adjusted to keep pace with oilfield wages or increases by non-oilfield private employers. Alaska’s remote location probably makes it even harder for non-oilfield employers to attract employees during boom periods.

    I’m sure there are many factors in this story but I wonder if the decision to work with instead of fire employees like Wooten are influenced by the fact that there may not be many available replacements.

    DRJ (7568a2)

  30. Usually, when I have a nit picking at me I smash it like the annoying little bug that it is.

    Or is that a ‘gnat’?

    Icy Truth (5b3d64)

  31. Eric Blair –

    Reports are that he did not use the Taser to “torture” his stepson, as you allege. Rather, the stepson wanted to know what being tasered felt like and asked him to use it on him.

    He should not have granted the kid’s request, and doing so showed bad judgment. Tasers can be dangerous even when used on an adult, and he should have told the kid “no”. Let’s leave the term “torture” out of this; that’s not what happened. If he had used the taser on the kid as a form of punishment, the word might be relevant. But as it is, the question is about his bad judgment.

    Robin Munn (0bb144)

  32. I’m not taking a position one way or the other on whether Wooten should have been fired.

    With the knowledge that he used his “official” Taser on his 10 year-old stepson? Yeah, makes sense…just like Obama voting “present” so many times.

    Old Coot (62fd89)

  33. The desperate smears are a good example of how the Obama people think they are doing. I am convinced that, should he lose (and I think he will now), the party is going to be very angry at him for turning down Hillary for VP. This was an ego trip. The first thing you are supposed to learn in PR school is to not believe your own bulls**t. She has announced, through the NY Times, that she will campaign for Obama, and other senators, but she will not attack Palin. Thus, the 2012 campaign begins.

    MIke K (155601)

  34. DRJ #29…
    Some excellent points.

    Also, nobody seems to recognize that Mr.Palin has not been able to work on the North Slope for some time because of the potential conflict-of-interest/revenge factor.

    Another Drew (299eef)

  35. “Oddly, Colonel Grimes actually seems even more upset over Wooten’s illegal hunting:”

    Patterico, troopers in AK function as game wardens. Or are supposed to. To a hunter like me, this really is an extremely serious violation; corrupt wardens are beyond the pale.

    This is a total loser of an issue for the left. It’s like when your insurance company says, “We know what it LOOKS like the policy says, and we’re not going to pay anyway.” And you say, “OK. Gonna go for a jury trial. Good luck finding 6 out of any 12 adults who haven’t been screwed over by an insurance company.” And they croon, “Settlement, sir, settlement….” I can’t see many members of the public, or at least the hunting public, who won’t be thinking, “Jesus Christ, she took a first step or two, but I hope she cleans out the whole chain of command here. Out of oil-field trash they were taken, and into oil field trash they can return.”

    Simon Kenton (19874b)

  36. Well, it is a stressful job and we should consider that the poor trooper had family problems. Ten days seems way too severe a punishment for a union member. I’m surprised he didn’t get bumped upstairs or at least promoted. The union should sue for big bucks for this miscarriage of justice, given that it reflects poorly on the reputation of the accused trooper.

    Seriously, you have LA Congressman Jefferson caught with a freezer full of cash and even the dumbass GOP leader of the house was defending that privacy intrusion by the FBI.

    In the trooper’s case, pity he couldn’t hit a bridge abutment while drunk driving. What an outrage.

    Many years ago I supervised a brother (NWA) who came in hours late regularly, used drugs on the job and robbed the place blind. This was a state job and I was told not to worry about it as it was “under investigation”. The dude’s wife was union local President. Nothing was ever done. Gerald McEntee ran a great AFSCME union. That one and a few others like the NEA are a pox on the public.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  37. Don’t tase me, pops!

    Apparently, those on the left who clamour for “law and order” apparently will throw that concept under Barry’s bus in the sake of unhinged and fake smear jobs.

    BTW, please do not link Excitable Andy. Since Ace suggested everyone mostly ignore him, but, at least don’t link him, he is becoming more and more deranged, writing post after post after post, basically saying “Hey! Someone play with me.”

    Maybe if The Only Real Conservative (who’s supporting the most liberal candidate) would open his comments, instead of being a big p….kitty cat.

    William Teach (2f3de1)

  38. If he was willing, the campaign out to dispatch Rudy to lay waste to this issue.

    From my professional perspective, a letter of reprimand like this, coupled with the suspension, makes Wooten completely useless as a witness in any criminal prosecution that might arise from his professional duties. This letter would have to be turned over pursuant to Giglio v. US, as it is clearly relevant to the credibility of a government witness.

    Palin ought to go on the attack — the argument should be that as the elected head of the Executive Branch of the Alaska State Government, she has a duty to rid the State Police of “bad apples.” The fact that her family is the most recent victim of his misconduct is something that should give her pause in deciding how to pursue it, but it is not necessarily an absolute barrier.

    I suspect the citizens of every state would want their governor getting rid of bad apples in state law enforcement — those people carry guns and are invested with the lawful authority to take the life of another in the line of duty. High moral character and sound judgment are paramount in such personnel.

    This is clearly a battle between the State Police management and the State Police union. The union is the only thing keeping this guy from getting fired. Palin simply weighs in with more firepower than the State Police management could muster.

    She should say “I’m willing to be judged for my conduct as Governor. Wooten was a rotten State Trooper with a lengthy history of misconduct — including criminal conduct. So, on behalf of the good citizens of Alaska, I didn’t want him working for them, carrying a badge and a gun. If someone has a problem with that, I’ll give the address of the elections office where they can take out papers to run for Governor.

    Next Question.”

    WLS (969303)

  39. Can you believe a police officer could drink in a squad car and not be fired? Imagine drinking beer on the job where you work. Sad part, this is happening all over the country. The teacher, police, and firefighter unions are incredibly strong. All around this country police officers are losing the trust of the people they’re suppose to protect.

    Pat Lynch (03b403)

  40. Pat Lynch — the real unexplained question in this whole saga is why no local prosecutorial agency has an open investigation or prosecution of him.

    WLS (969303)

  41. Foo Bar wrote: Fine by me. The Grimes letter doesn’t say he drank and drove “on the job”, so Patterico’s post probably shouldn’t, either.

    I ain’t a lawyuh, but IMHO it’s a distinction without a difference. When you are a trooper and you are driving a vehicle that clearly identifies you as a trooper, how can you NOT be “on the job”?

    If someone flags down a trooper vehicle in a state of distress, what’s supposed to happen, Foob? Is he supposed to light up a sign atop the car saying “OFF DUTY” like he’s a cabbie?

    L.N. Smithee (f22eb0)

  42. The best answer to this nonsense is to dare Obama to associate himself with this clown state trooper.

    He’ll fit in well, right next to Ayers.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  43. If my daughter brought a guy like that home to meet mother I think I’d taser her.

    Amphipolis (e6b868)

  44. “The first thing you are supposed to learn in PR school is to not believe your own bulls**t.”

    Good point – the longtime political correspondent Jack Germond (big Liberal, btw) recounted in his book (“Fat Man in the Middle Seat”) that one of Carter’s biggest problems was having no one in his inner circle to tell him when he was full of it. Obama’s inner circle actually believes all of the crapola they’ve fed the public over the past few years – and who can blame them? After all, he’s had nothing but fawning MSM coverage for almost his entire campaign (until the Rev. Wright incident, which was summarily dismissed after his “historic” race speech).

    Dmac (e639cc)

  45. #31: I guess the kid really wanted be hit by a Taser. Of course, it isn’t the ten or eleven year old child writing the report now, is it?

    You clearly went to DK to get your talking points, where there is a nice apology for this jackass Wooten, saying that it was the lowest possible charge, and used “training squibs.” It goes on to relate that the child “bragged about it” and “only had a small welt.” I remind you that Tasers work by shooting a dart which trails a wire carrying the charge.

    Interesting to see how you so quickly accept that version of events. Here is a question: if a police officer who was trying to smear Senator Obama did precisely the same thing to her or his stepson, would you then try to push a version of events that the child wanted to be tortured?

    You will claim you are all fair-minded of course, but you and everyone reading this post know better.

    Hypocrite.

    By the way, I am curious to learn what Our Mr. Sullivan thinks about Tasering children, but then, I would have to look at his website.

    And if you don’t think being hit by a Taser is torture for an eleven year old, I recommend that you zap yourself with a Taser…multiple times based on the difference in age. And turned all the way up, since children don’t weigh the same as an adult.

    I have claimed that this idiot should have been fired on the spot for this action alone. You are defending it as somehow not that big of a deal.

    I don’t think your argument will go very far with parents. It’s a tone-deaf argument.

    Let me know how that self-Tasering goes before you add any more details here.

    Sorry to get so angry, but reading defenses of child abuse get me going. Apologies to other posters.

    Eric Blair (2708f4)

  46. Sorry for the glitch, but you get the point.

    Tasering a child. Your own stepson.

    And then having some partisan hack defend the action.

    The mind reels.

    Eric Blair (2708f4)

  47. WLS wrote: Palin ought to go on the attack — the argument should be that as the elected head of the Executive Branch of the Alaska State Government, she has a duty to rid the State Police of “bad apples.” The fact that her family is the most recent victim of his misconduct is something that should give her pause in deciding how to pursue it, but it is not necessarily an absolute barrier.

    Personally, I believe that contrary to MSM propaganda, the vetting of Palin gave the McCain camp a full overview of the situation, and think (as I do) that it’s a winner for Sarah even if the investigation suggests that there was an ethical violation.

    Why do I think so? All the details thusfar show that the people who are trying to nail Palin in this situation are, when it comes right down to it, defending the honor of an officer without honor and protecting a bureaucracy that can’t control out-of-control law enforcement officers.

    The Dems and the Sarah-bashers in the media and the net have greatly relied on Wooten’s status as Palin’s in-law to make it seem like she’s motivated by spite when all evidence shows her concern is the public’s safety first and her family’s second. Even the MSM can’t spin drunk driving in a cop car, not to mention electrocuting a ten-year-old simply because he asked to be.

    I believe the McCain camp — which I admit I have underestimated previously — is waiting for the Obamatons to overplay their hand on what they call “Troopergate”. If they suggest Sarah’s gone too far, they will be in effect admitting that if they were in the same situation, they would refuse to do enough.

    Not what you want in a Commander-in-Chief, is it?

    L.N. Smithee (f22eb0)

  48. Don’t know about Alaska but in Indiana, this guy would’ve been fired for any one of the alcohol violations! It wouldn’t have taken the Governor or the Public Safety Commissioner… citizens and officers alike will not tolerate such behavior by any police officer, period!

    Marty (c3fd57)

  49. Even a short summary should include the “If you weren’t a cop, we’d have arrested you” bit.

    Beldar (8a23eb)

  50. Beldar – Thanks for such great work.

    JD (5f0e11)

  51. I am an honorably retired cop of 30 years. I would not want to work with or work around this trooper. It is shocking that the department head did not fire this guy, especially with his priors. This trooper is a serious problem child & is not fit to be a police officer. And spare me the strong union BS. If the department head wanted to fire the guy, all the union could do is pay for the guys lawyer for his appeal. I know nothing of Pallins record but I have to support her on wanting this guy fired.
    If I had to work with this guy, I’d want him fired too.

    Hondo Lane (7cfd24)

  52. “And if the criminals are all in jail, who will vote Democratic?”

    – Apogee

    Certainly not any of the Miami-Dade residents who were unfortunate enough to have names similar to those of convicted criminals… but if a tree falls in the forest and a bunch of self-righteous conservatives don’t give a shit, does Bush win Florida?

    Leviticus (41975c)

  53. #53 – Leviticus – Don’t worry, your Miami-Dade votes will be more than made up of dead or non-existent Chicago area voters. It’s happened before, you know, even though you’re not old enough to remember.

    One more thing – you do know Bush isn’t running again, right?

    Self-righteous conservatives? You mean like the one you’re about to go work for?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  54. I do se abuse of power here, but it is from Colonel Grimes. In light of his position that if he were not an officer, he would have faced criminal prosecution. Does Alaska have one set of laws for regular citizens and one set for uniformed officers. He should have been charged with child neglect. This guy should not be carrying a gun, taser or pocket knife.

    Sarah Palin expects officers to conduct themselves within the confines of the law! Lock her up and throw away the key!

    JudyR (8237a7)

  55. Really who cares about this whole thing? The guy was an obvious jerk. The far left extremists are trying to make something out of nothing. CNN and MSNBC and the wacko left of my former party are really grasping for straws. WHO CARES? No one but them and will it make any difference NOPE!

    But I would like to hear more about Obama’s ties to Ayers and Resko. Now that is much more horrid. Where is CNN and MSNBC and the far left concern about those ties? ::criket:: ::criket:: don’t hear a word….

    WorkingMommy (d3d0b6)

  56. As the above story summarizes the following key statement “If we are not a cop we would have been arrested”.I feel so that the rule for cops is different from citizens.
    =====================
    peterheins
    California Dui

    peterheins (8f41ba)


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