Her bank account looks approximately $386,000 lighter.
Nearly a year after she quit her governorship of Alaska, Sarah Palin was found guilty today of another breach of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act involving her so-called Alaska Fund Trust (AFT), which she established as a private “legal defense fund” while governor.
Timothy Petumenos, independent counsel for the Alaska Personnel Board (and ironically, the same independent counsel who issued the Troopergate findings nearly two years ago while Palin was the GOP vice-presidential nominee), presented the state’s Findings, Consent Decree and Settlement Agreement this afternoon from the perfectly named Adventure Room of the Captain Cook Hotel in downtown Anchorage.
In what is an extremely detailed finding, Petumenos ruled that even though Palin assigned the research of forming the fund to her former spokesperson Meghan Stapleton and even though Palin relied on extensive outside legal counsel, that “the Trust itself, as ultimately conceived, violates the Ethics Act.”
The finding is a stinging rebuke to Palin, who must now return more than $386,000 in contributions to the AFT.
It also forces her longtime political crony Kirstan Cole to be removed from serving as Trustee of the fund.
Perhaps most significantly, Petumenos demanded that “all donors to the Trust, whether they donated before or after the resignation, as promised in the supporting website information, must be publicly disclosed.