A not so fresh wrinkle

Todd Palin, special assistant Ivy Frye and deputy chief of staff Randy Ruaro failed to show up for scheduled depositions today, but Murlene Wilkes -- the contractor charged with handling workers compensation claims -- has agreed to testify and should be doing so as I write this. Of the thirteen subpoenas issued by the Judiciary Committee, four have been satisfied and six remain to be served.

But don't take my word for it. Take it from Hollis French.

Quite the partisan firebrand, isn't he?

French's statement today shed light on something I hadn't fully understood before. As you may recall, days before the Judiciary Committee met to issue subpoenas, Lt. Governor Barnhill sent a letter to Legislative Council Chair Kim Elton offering cooperation if Elton would aggree with Barnhill's interpretation of the law regarding the handling of personnel files. That much I knew. What I didn't know was that on September 12 -- the day the subpoenas were issued -- Elton accepted Barnhill's offer, and that Barnhill sent an email in reply indicating that he would begin working with Branchflower on Tuesday September 16 to schedule statements for those witnesses who had not secured private counsel. The deal was scuttled by Coghill.

...perhaps I should add, for those few of you who may not choose to devote seven minutes to watching French deliver his statement, that I'm not putting together any puzzles here. He's up there at the podium going through the letters, calmly documenting the cover-up.

An internal government document obtained by ABC News appears to contradict Sarah Palin's most recent explanation for why she fired her public safety chief, the move which prompted the now-contested state probe into "Troopergate."
The document, a state travel authorization form, shows that Palin's chief of staff, Miki Nizich, approved Monegan's trip to Washington D.C. "to attend meeting with Senator Murkowski." the date next to Nizich's signature reads June 18.
Monegan said he didn't know why Palin' chief of staff approved a trip that confounded her other aides. "It sounds like it's a breakdown of communication internal to the governor's staff," he said. |Justin Rood|

And speaking of loose ends: No word yet on whether Wilkes showed up this afternoon or not, but here's some essential background reading on her role.

...KTUU also has a good story about Wilkes' role, including more details about the testimony Branchflower has collected so far regarding the workers compensation claim:
Last Friday, Branchflower said a former employee of Harbor Adjustment Service, Johanna Grasso, contacted a tip line. Grasso testified under oath regarding a conversation she had with Wilkes about a worker's compensation claim from Wooten.

Wooten is the governor's former brother in law, who went through a bitter divorce with governor Palin's sister.

At the hearing, Branchflower read from Grasso's testimony.

Grasso wrote, "Well I remember at one point in the conversation she had mentioned or said something to the effect that either the governor or the governor's office wanted this claim denied and I remember my response being, why? I don't care if it's the president that wants the claim denied I'm not going to deny it unless I have the medical evidence to do that."

Grasso says the conversation with Wilkes occurred in the Spring of 2007. |KTUU|

And what's so significant about that (beyond the underlying wrongdoing) is that Wilkes, the first time she spoke to Branchflower, denied that there had been any interference from the governor's office.

...lastly, if you look at the troopergate timeline, one of the things you might notice is that the revelations about Grasso's testimony came out after Barnhill's offer of cooperation, but before Coghill's decision to scuttle the deal. Draw your own conclusions.

No comments:

Post a Comment

eXTReMe Tracker