Palin to Return Legal Defense Fund Donations

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Former Governor Sarah Palin has agreed to return all of the donations to her legal defense fund that were paid into it while she was still governor. The settlement agreement was announced today in Anchorage. Palin will return $387,000 that was collected while she was still governor. The complaint was filed in April 2009, soon after the Alaska Fund Trust was set up by Palin seeking donations to help her pay legal fees to fight the numerous other ethics complaints that had been filed against her.

Petumenos says another troubling aspect was the Trustee who managed the fund. Kristan Cole was a public official who had been appointed by Palin to various boards and positions. This was problematic because Cole had authority to name other beneficiaries, which could have included other public officials. Petumenos says there is no evidence of attempts at influencing other public figures, but he says the law requires a reasoned decision under the Ethics Act.

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