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Todd Palin ignores subpoena

The husband of Alaska governor and vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin is not complying with a subpoena from Alaska lawmakers investigating a possible abuse of power by his wife, Republican campaign officials have announced.

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The husband of the Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is refusing to comply with a subpoena issued in an abuse-of-power probe of his wife, the family's lawyer said Thursday.

Todd Palin, father of five children with John McCain's running mate, was among 13 people ordered to testify in the potentially explosive "Troopergate" investigation of his wife, who is the Alaska governor.

In a letter to independent investigator Stephen Branchflower, lawyer Thomas van Flein described the legislature's investigation into whether Palin improperly removed a commissioner for refusing to fire a state trooper who was her former brother-in-law as politically biased and lacking legal authority.

"We maintain our general objections that the legislative council investigation, besides being pursued for partisan purposes, is being conducted in violation of all accepted norms of due process," van Flein wrote.

He also argued that the subpoena was "unduly burdensome" because of Todd Palin's travel schedule with his wife ahead of the election.

"His scheduling obligations over the next two months will make it virtually impossible for him to prepare for and present the testimony called for in the subpoena at the specified location during that time period," van Flein wrote in the letter, reproduced on the Alaska Daily News website.

The probe is being overseen by the head of the Alaska state Senate judiciary committee, who is a Democrat.

But shortly after Palin was tapped to join McCain's ticket she called for a formal review of her actions by the Alaska Personnel Board, a panel which is under her authority.

"Hopefully it's the personnel board looking into this and it's not this obsessive partisanship that seems to have captured the issue," Sarah Palin said in a Fox News interview aired Thursday.

The investigation is seeking to address whether Palin improperly dismissed state public safety commissioner Walter Monegan in July because he refused to fire a state trooper, Mike Wooten, who is Palin's former brother-in-law.

On Fox, Palin maintained that she ordered Monegan transfered to another department because of policy differences and not because of his refusal to fire Wooten.

Monegan "chose not to be transfered, so he left state service," Palin said.

"It had nothing to do with a former brother-in-law."

Palin was not subpoenaed, but her husband and several members of her staff were. Palin said initially that she would cooperate with the investigation but has subsequently refused.

The subpoena rejection throws into question whether the probe's final report, due October 10, could be completed before Americans go to the polls November 4.

 Alaska's Republican attorney general, Talis Colberg, said Tuesday that other executive branch employees subpoenaed under the investigation were also refusing to testify unless ordered to in a vote by Alaska's full Senate or legislature, which is not scheduled to meet again until January.
 

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