From an e-mail sent overnight by Anchorage attorney Kevin Clarkson:
Five Alaska Legislators, Rep. Wes Keller, Rep. Mike Kelly, Rep. Bob Lynn, Sen. Fred Dyson, and Sen. Tom Wagoner, will file suit in state superior court in Anchorage tomorrow morning (9/16/08) at 9:00 am (Superior courthouse 4th Avenue) against Sen. French, Sen. Kim Elton, Stephen Branchflower and the Alaska Legislative Council in order to halt the investigation of Governor Sarah Palin and others because the investigators have lost the appearance of impartiality required under the Alaska Constitution. The Legislators will ask for declaratory and injunctive relief in the investigation, stating that it is an attempt to use the Alaska Legislative Council to further partisan politics.
The Legislators cite in their lawsuit that the investigation into the firing of former Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Public safety Walt Monegan, led by Sens. Hollis French and Kim Elton, with Stephen Branchflower and the Alaska Legislative Council, is being driven by partisan politics in an attempt to unlawfully smear Gov. Palin and others.
“The Partisan actions of Sen. French, Sen. Elton and the Legislative Council have tainted the investigation beyond the appearance of impartiality required under the Alaska Constitution,” said Kevin Clarkson, Esq., of the firm Brena, Bell & Clarkson, P.C., and counsel in the suit.
The investigation, which began after Monegan’s dismissal in July 2008, is being led by outspoken supporters of Barack Obama and members of the Democratic Party. Sen. Elton, the Chair of the Legislative Council donated $2,000 to the Obama campaign but has failed to disclose this to the Legislative Council and he continues to preside over the Council with respect to the investigation, refusing to convene meetings of the Council at the request of a majority of the Council’s membership. Sen. French the investigation “project manager” failed to disclose to the Legislative Council the comments he made on a radio program criticizing the Governor’s conduct regarding the termination of Monegan as “criminal” prior to being appointed as the investigation “project manager” and even prior to a vote to investigate at all. Sen. French also failed to disclose to the Legislative Council that he had a personal bone to pick with the Governor over the Monegan firing because Monegan was a friend and because he had worked closely with Monegan during the 2008 legislative session regarding attempts to include in the state budget items that Governor Palin had vetoed.