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E-mails show Palin had strong interest in trooper

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain's running mate, wrote e-mails that harshly criticized Alaska state troopers for failing to fire her former brother-in-law and ridiculed an internal affairs investigation into his conduct.

The e-mails were shown to The Washington Post by a former public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, who was fired by Palin in July. Monegan has given copies of the e-mails to state ethics investigators to support his contention that he was dismissed for failing to fire Trooper Mike Wooten, who at the time was feuding with Palin's family.

“This trooper is still out on the street, in fact he's been promoted,” said the Feb. 7, 2007, e-mail sent from Palin's personal Yahoo account and written to give Monegan permission to speak on a violent-crime bill before the state legislature.

“It was a joke, the whole year long ‘investigation' of him,” the e-mail said. “This is the same trooper who's out there today telling people the new administration is going to destroy the trooper organization, and that he'd ‘never work for that b----, Palin.'”

Asked about the e-mails, Palin's campaign spokeswoman Maria Comella said that Palin was merely alerting officials to potential threats to her family.

Palin is under investigation by a bipartisan state legislative body that was authorized last month to look into whether she pressured Monegan to force Wooten from the state police force and whether his failure to do so led to his dismissal.

Palin had promised to cooperate with the legislative inquiry, but this week she hired a lawyer to fight to move the case to the jurisdiction of the state personnel board, which Palin appoints.

Palin has said previously that she discussed Wooten with Monegan only in the context of security concerns for the family. Monegan has said that Palin never directly told him to fire Wooten but that the message was clearly conveyed through repeated messages from Palin, her husband and three members of her Cabinet.

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