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Alaska Senate finds Todd Palin in contempt in 'troopergate'

JUNEAU — The Alaska Senate voted today to find Gov. Sarah Palin's husband, Todd, and nine Palin aides in contempt for failing to show up when ordered by subpoena to testify in the Legislature's "troopergate" investigation of the governor.

But the Senate resolution also said there should be no punishment because Todd Palin and the others did eventually submit written statements to the investigator, Steve Branchflower.

"People kept saying 'You've got to do something about the subpoenas — what are you going to do about the subpoenas?" said Anchorage Democratic Sen. Hollis French, who sponsored the resolution. "And while there was practically no support for doing anything regarding the governor, a lot of people were upset that the subpoenas were ignored."

"It memorializes their contempt and it balances that wrongdoing with their compliance once the suit was resolved," French said.

Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg had sued to kill the subpoenas but lost in court. It was after he lost that the witnesses cooperated.

Branchflower's report found Palin abused her power in allowing her husband and top aides to push for the firing of a state trooper who is her former brother-in-law. But a second report, conducted by attorney Tim Petumenos for the state personnel board, came to the opposite conclusion and found that Palin was not responsible for any wrongdoing.

Colberg did not have an immediate comment on the Senate resolution, saying he needed to read it first.

The resolution passed the Senate on a 16-1 vote. Anchorage Republican Sen. Con Bunde was the only senator to vote against it. Sens. Fred Dyson, Gene Therriault and Tom Wagoner were excused.

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