Find Post Investigations On:
Facebook Scribd Twitter
Friendfeed RSS Google Reader
» About This Blog | Meet the Investigative Team | Subscribe
Ongoing Investigation

Top Secret America

The Post explores the top secret world the government created in response to the attacks of Sept. 11.

Ongoing Investigation

The Hidden Life of Guns

How guns move through American society, from store counter to crime scene.

Have a Tip?

Talk to Us

If you have solid tips, news or documents on potential ethical violations or abuses of power, we want to know. Send us your suggestions.
• E-mail Us


Post Investigations
In-depth investigative news
and multimedia from The Washington Post.
• Special Reports
• The Blog

Reporters' Notebook
An insider's guide to investigative news: reporters offer insights on their stories.

The Daily Read
A daily look at investigative news of note across the Web.

Top Picks
A weekly review of the best
in-depth and investigative reports from across the nation.

Hot Documents
Court filings, letters, audits and other documents of interest.

D.C. Region
Post coverage of investigative news in Maryland, Virginia and the District.

Washington Watchdogs
A periodic look into official government investigations.

Help! What Is RSS?
Find out how to follow Post Investigations in your favorite RSS reader.

Hot Comments

Unfortunately I believe that we are limited in what we can focus on. I think that if we proceed with the partisan sideshow of prosecuting Bush admin. officials, healthcare will get lost in the brouhaha.
— Posted by denamom, Obama's Quandary...

Recent Posts
Bob Woodward

The Washington Post's permanent investigative unit was set up in 1982 under Bob Woodward.

See what you missed, find what you're looking for.
Blog Archive »
Investigations Archive »

Have a Tip?
Send us information on ethics violations or abuses of power.
E-Mail Us »

Notable investigative projects from other news outlets.
On the Web »
Top Picks »

Exclusive: Palin 'Experienced a Lot Frustration' With Family Feud

POSTED: 05:15 PM ET, 09/ 4/2008 by Derek Kravitz

Excerpts of e-mails written by GOP vice-presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to a former state police commissioner show Palin "experienced a lot of frustration" over the continued employment of her former brother-in-law, an Alaskan state trooper embroiled in an ongoing family feud.

The former police commissioner, Walt Monegan, was fired by Palin in July and accused the governor of dumping him because he refused to fire her ex-brother-in-law, Mike Wooten. Monegan showed copies of e-mails written to him by Palin to The Post's James V. Grimaldi and Karl Vick. Parts of two quotes were not included in The Post's original story:

Saying a February 2007 e-mail she wrote to Monegan was "just my opinion," Palin wrote, "I know you know I've experienced a lot of frustration with this issue. I know Todd's even expressed to you a lot of concern about our family's safety after this trooper threatened to kill a family member -- so you need to know that if I am a supporter of whatever we can do to build trust back into DPS, then there are many other Alaskans in the same boat we are and may look on this new cop bill as a good thing."

A second e-mail from Palin's personal Yahoo account, sent in July 2007, shows that the governor was still struggling with Wooten's employment.

"We can't have double standards. Remember when the death threat was reported, and follow-on threats from Mike that he was going to 'bring Sarah and her family down' -- instead of any reprimand WE were told by trooper union personnel that we'd be sued if we talked about those threats. Amazing. ... And he's still a trooper, and he still carries a gun, and he still tells anyone who will listen that he will 'ever work for that b*itch' (me) because he has such anger and disdain towards my family."

(Palin similarly quoted Wooten in the earlier e-mail.)

By Derek Kravitz |  September 4, 2008; 5:15 PM ET Post Investigations
Previous: Abramoff Letter to Judge: 'I Am Not a Bad Man' | Next: The Daily Read


Please email us to report offensive comments.

From what I saw last night, she appears to be a very vicious character.

Posted by: Barracuda Pitt-Bull Palin | September 4, 2008 7:55 PM

this trooper is a real bad guy. I wonder why WaPo did not do anything about revealing this trooper. As a woman, I am very sympathetic with Palin's pain.

Posted by: Amy | September 4, 2008 7:56 PM

Palin is the same slimy republican they all are. nothing has changed. macain is senile for jumping into bed with this wich. she is bitter , angry and it's probably becouse she bore a retarded son, and her 16 year old doughter is sleeping around when "Mom" is telling other girls to Abstain. but can you blame the girl, Palin had an affair with the husbands best friend. forget the Ailin Palins, and get that ethics investigation going again.

Posted by: Jelly | September 4, 2008 8:04 PM

You should look into the history of this before making an assumption. I am from Alaska and voted for Sarah for governor. In truth I probably wouldn't have thought twice about her firing someone. The only thing that got me listening is that Walt Monegan, who is a very respected law enforcement person, was the one fired. When he was asked why he didn't know. When rumors started flying about the State troopers being pressured he was asked if he was fired because he wouldn't fire Sarah's brother-in-law. He said he was being pressured but didn't know if that was why. Why would Sarah want him fired? Easy. He had the nerve to stand up against the heath family and want to be with his kids. They filed dozens of complaints against Wooten when the divorce procedings started only 3-4 were substantiated. The two people have the most heartburn with are the moose he poached and the tasing of his son. These evens happended years before the Heath family palin included said anything about it. In fact the butchered the moose and ate it knowing it was paoched and it didn't bother them to do so. The tasing was for a split second and wooten is trained how to use it safely. They knew about it when it happened but didn't seem to think it was abuse until the custody battle. If in fact these things were wrong then Sarah Palin and her family are guilty as well. They helped with the poached moose and did nothing to protect this child from him for years even letting the two of them go off together on vacations. They weren't concerned for the child's safety only getting the upper hand in a custody battle. The judge admonished Sarah and Molly for the tacctics they were use=ing and were told to knock it off. That pissed them all off. Wooten got visitation. Everything settled down for a bit until the judge wanted to have a hearing again to see how things were going then the Heath Family and Sarh started with the complaints again. What do you think is the truth here?

Posted by: To Amy | September 4, 2008 9:56 PM

Hold on folks this is just the first week...what else is coming out.... how many mooseburgers they eat a week? ... her speech was overrated and sarcastic and smug.... and this story about her abuse of power is no surprise...remember last night how she boost about letting the cook go... did she consider she was raising the unemployment rate.... and what the heck did she do with the money from the jet? hey inteligent people of the United States, just imagine Gov. Pitbull palin with the Patriot act...unfreakinbelievable... I rather have dumb azz bush!!

Posted by: tiredofPalin | September 4, 2008 10:00 PM

It's understandable that demo kooks are angry because they expected a meek and stupid republican. Instead they got a very smart woman who made Obama look like a moose calf Calm down and breathe slowly and count to ten while doing it. McCain and Palin will win. case closed.

Posted by: s | September 5, 2008 2:09 AM

Why is the Washington Post reporting these e-mails as her saying bad things about Wooten? It seems clear to me she is citing a personal anecdote to bring up problems in the state troopers in general and how the unions behaved corruptly in trying to give him a free pass for threatening Sarah's father and her daughter of 14 years at the time.

People may point out the issues with poaching and tasing as seemingly hypocritical, but they may not have seen them in the light they did until he started threatening their family. Suddenly prior acts of violence put the whole situation in perspective and showed a history of violent behavior. Sarah Palin's personal situation may have convinced her that the state troopers in general have been corrupted and that's probably right.

However, it seems the Washington Post is more concerned with sullying the good name of a well-respected politician rather than being the objective observer they're supposed to be.

Posted by: Daniel | September 5, 2008 3:30 AM

If this situation with Palin and her brother-in-law and her daughters personal situation is the best that the Obama clan and the Obama skewed media can come up with, they're wasting thier time and it's only going to backfire. Mike Wooten is supposed to be a professional law enforcement officer. She the Governor and has the right and the responsibility to discipline and fire a guy like that. They're related by marriage and that is why she knows firsthand of his behaviors. That does not give him a free ride. I'm sure he and many other cops in this country get away with this crap. That's the reason she got into politics. To fight the "good 'ol boy" system! Go Sara Barracuda!

Posted by: Brick Mudge | September 5, 2008 12:20 PM

It is pretty clear that Palin like the Bush justice department does not know where to draw the line. Prior to being elected Governor the DPS had dealt with those issues and suspended Wotten for ten days. The matter had been closed, but the Pallin wanted to reopen a closed case once she became Governor. In our country we are not used to double jeopardy nor are we used to having a government official using their offices for personnel vendettas. This sounds like something that Saddam Hussain would do not the Republican candidate for Vice President.

Posted by: bradcpa | September 5, 2008 3:31 PM

In a comment above, it's stated that "She the Governor and has the right and the responsibility to discipline and fire a guy like that." This is not true. There is an entire structure for hiring, training, directing, disciplining, punishing, and firing state employees. The Governor is not like some free-range Boss doing as she pleases with state civil service employees.
The governor has the power to hire and dismiss political appointees like the Monagen, the Director of Public Safety. He has the right to comment on his case after being fired, and it appears that if the Governor is dumb enough to put her thoughts into an email sent from her private account, then he probably "owns" that letter, and can make it public as he wants to.
The idea that Palin and her family were hounding this guy as a public service seems a little far-fetched. If the governor wants to institute across-the-board "zero tolerance" policies toward spousal abuse or criminal threatening by state employees, she probably could. But to just try to hammer the one state cop who happens to be ex-related to you by marriage sounds like trying to use your influence to squash somebody.
The cop sounds like a jerk. Palin sounds like a jerk. Who's to choose.
On the subject of moose-poaching, I'll bet you that the big crime here is that Palin's sister also filed for a moose permit, and when she won, her husband the cop used the permit to shoot a moose. This happens all the time in my home state. Generally if the lady of the family's lottery ticket wins, she waits patiently for the fatal gunshot from the woods, and then sallies forth with her moose tag in hand. Unless the warden actually witnesses the kill it's almost impossible to prove. The family member can't be compelled to testify.
Anyway, if this is the big moose crime, then Palin's sister is an accomplice. She either illegally attached the tag or she gave it over to someone who she knew was going to do it. Big deal.
As far as Tasering an 11 year old goes, well, as I wrote above, he sounds like a jerk. I guess his defense was that the kid asked for it.

If that's the case

Posted by: seo | September 5, 2008 4:35 PM

Wooten isn't the issue here. Sarah said she didn't fire walt monegan for the firing and also said she nor anyone on her staff has ever approached him or asked him to fire Wooten. That no pressue of any kind was ever placed on him. That no one has ever called him with the exception of one phone call form Todd and one form the head of security concerning Wooten. She has already retracted those statement since she can't really say they are tryue any more now that the evidence is staring her in the face.

Posted by: In reality | September 5, 2008 8:34 PM

I cannot recall a politician going for high office for the first time with as much adverse baggage as Sarah Palin. Everyday that goes past, brings more revealations, and it's not good news for Palin. There is a lot of hypocricy and vengeance in her character, plus her views on lack of choice taken to the limit and her inexperience of pressing international issues (important as McCain is 72) makes her unfit for high office in my books. I have voted Republican since Ronnie Reagan but after 8 years of hell and McCain/Palin ticket this time around, I will be casting my vote for the Democrats.

Posted by: John | September 6, 2008 2:47 PM

how do we know this isn't all BS?

i.e. palin didn't even have an account or someone created the story and posted this crap to vindicate her actions?

kind of like mccain inventing the blackberry..

Posted by: frank | September 17, 2008 11:46 PM

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining


© 2010 The Washington Post Company