Troopergate subpoenas upheld

A judge has refused to shut down the investigation into Sarah Palin's firing of Alaska's public safety commissioner, and now Todd Palin may testify.

By Alex Koppelman
Published October 3, 2008 3:45PM (EDT)

On Thursday, a judge in Alaska refused to quash subpoenas issued in the ongoing investigation into Sarah Palin's firing of the state's public safety commissioner, and also declined to halt the investigation itself.

One of those people subpoenaed was Todd Palin. He may now testify, Thomas Van Flein, the Palins' lawyer, told the Anchorage Daily News. "Short of appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court, which no one has talked about, I don't see why we wouldn't just have Todd testify," Van Flein said. All told, almost a dozen people have thus far refused to testify despite having been subpoenaed; they now face jail time.

After the ruling, Liberty Legal Institute, which represented five Alaska legislators who were suing to stop the investigation, attacked the judge. "Judge Michalski is the same judge who ruled in 1998 that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right, a decision subsequently overruled by a constitutional amendment approved by the voters of Alaska," the institute said. Liberty Legal plans to appeal. (The ruling dealt with two suits, one asking for the subpoenas to be quashed, one asking for the investigation to be halted; they were combined into one case. That may explain the discrepancy between Van Flein's statement and Liberty Legal's.)

The lead investigator in Troopergate, former prosecutor Steven Branchflower, is expected to release his report on Oct. 10.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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