September 18, 2008
ALASKA OIL AND GAS CONSERVATION COMMISSION
Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
333 W. 7th Ave., Ste. 100
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
Attorney General Talis J. Colberg
P.O. Box 110300
Juneau, AK 99811-0300
The Honorable Governor Sarah Palin
Alaska State Capitol Building Third Floor
P.O. Box 110001
Juneau, AK 99811-0001
Phone (907) 465-3500
Fax (907) 465-3532
This is a request for information. If I have sent this request to the wrong email address or department please forward it to the appropriate person, persons or department. Thank you.
In researching an investigation involving the AOGCC in 2004 I've learned that, according to
THE ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS, Mrs. Sarah Palin was assisted by an AOGCC technician while "hacking" into a computer belonging to Randy Ruedrich. I used the word "hacking" because it was the word used by the reporter in THE ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS article and the reporter apparently received the information about the "hacking" and information gathering from Mrs. Palin, herself, during the interview. The article reports that Sarah Palin stated the hacking was done at the "behest" of an assistant attorney general in Fairbanks.
I have some questions I'm hoping the governors office, the AOGCC and the attorney general's office may be able to help me with:
The AOGCC --
What, exactly, was the job description / duties of the AOGCC technician Mrs. Palin mentioned in the article?
Would it be possible to obtain the name of the technician that assisted Mrs. Palin?
Was Mrs. Palin authorized to do the "hacking" into the computer used by Randy Ruedrich?
If Mrs. Palin was authorized to do the "hacking" and information gathering, was it an authority she held by her position with the AOGCC or was she authorized by a specific member or official request / order of the AOGCC -- or was the authorization granted by order of the attorney general's office?
Can you give me information concerning use of email accounts by members of the AOGCC? Specifically, are members of the AOGCC allowed (by standard procedure and regulation) to access the email of other AOGCC members? Are email accounts of AOGCC members protected by the same rules and regulations that protect the email accounts of other Alaska state offices, such as the governor and the governor's administration?
Are members of the AOGCC allowed to do government business using email accounts that are not on the government server? Are members TODAY allowed to do government business on personal accounts using yahoo, etc.?
Have any current AOGCC members communicated with the governor using any account she may have other than on the government server?
Were any of the email communications retrieved by Sarah Palin in her investigation of Randy Ruedrich on a personal email account other than on the government server - such as yahoo, etc.?
The Department of Law / Attorney General's office --
The ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS article reports: "But as she and an AOGCC technician worked their way around his computer password at the behest of an assistant attorney general in Fairbanks, they found his cleanup had not extended to his electronic files."
Can you give me the name of the assistant attorney general who gave the order to hack into Mr. Ruedrich's computer to Mrs. Palin and the AOGCC technician?
Sarah Palin was involved in an investigation of Randy Ruedrich for mixing his political job with his state duties. At the "behest" of the attorney general's office Sarah Palin "hacked" into Mr. Ruedrich's computer seeking information from his email.
Has the attorney general's office been involved in any other investigations or situations where it has ordered members of another government agency or department - such as the AOGCC - to hack into a government computer to retrieve email?
Regarding the use of personal email accounts not on the government server to do government business -- does the attorney general's office deem that acceptable and legal?
In the current investigation of Governor Palin, will the attorney general's office participate in an effort to retrieve and disclose the emails of Governor Palin in the same manner that it did with the Randy Ruedrich investigation?
When there is an investigation involving a state of Alaska employee, is there a standard procedure for how that employee's computer will be accessed to retrieve information? Is the computer removed from the office of the employee? Is the employee informed that the computer and email address he was assigned by the state is being accessed and investigated? What are the steps and who is involved? How is the event documented?
I assume that employees of The Department Of Law do use email to contact Governor Palin from time to time. Does the attorney general - and do others at The Department Of Law - use the governor's official state of Alaska email address when contacting her by email?
The Honorable Governor Sarah Palin --
November 9, 2003 -- Anchorage Daily News -- Sean Cockerham
===But Palin, a well-known Republican and former mayor of Wasilla, is not so sure about that. She said that she has heard from a lot of Republicans who wondered why Ruedrich hadn't been able to see that he had a conflict of interest. "It was a very simple issue," Palin said. "It was black and white."===
Will the governor acknowledge that many Alaskans - and many other Americans - wonder if she is involved in ethics violations and a conflict of interest? Will the governor now allow for the same type of email retrieval that she undertook to assist in the investigation of Randy Ruedrich?
Will the governor offer for review all email on her personal email accounts so that investigators can properly investigate possible ethics violations and conflicts of interest -- and so investigators can determine if she has been using those accounts to do government / political business she did not wish to have made public and to avoid having her email communications documented and archived?
Thank you for any information you can give me.
For reference I offer the following from adn.com
Palin explains her actions in Ruedrich case (11/19/2004) adn.com
(Please follow link above for the interview in it's entirety.)
*Sarah Palin never thought of herself as an investigator. Yet there she was, hacking uncomfortably into Randy Ruedrich's computer, looking for evidence that the state Republican Party boss had broken the state ethics law while a member of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
*The next week, when Palin went back to work at the AOGCC, she noticed that Ruedrich had removed his pictures from the walls and the personal effects from his desk. But as she and an AOGCC technician worked their way around his computer password at the behest of an assistant attorney general in Fairbanks, they found his cleanup had not extended to his electronic files.
*The technician "said it looked like he tried to delete this, but she knew a way to go around and get some of the deleted stuff," Palin said in an interview. "I didn't know what I was looking for, but I was there."
*Palin found dozens of e-mail messages and documents stacked up in trash folders ...
*When Palin went through Ruedrich's computer, she found an e-mail dated Nov. 3 that Ruedrich sent from his home computer to work.
*Palin printed out a batch of Ruedrich's e-mails on Nov. 12, 2003. The next day, she sent a message to Paul Lyle, the assistant attorney general in Fairbanks, and told him she was following his instructions. But was there an investigation or not? Palin couldn't get a straight answer.
*On Dec. 11, Palin sent Lyle a package of material: printed e-mails, staff comments, documents from Ruedrich's desk and recycle bin.