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Palin's Legal Defense Fund Under Scrutiny

When she announced her resignation from office earlier this month, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin mentioned mounting legal bills stemming from various ethics investigations as one reason for her decision; now, she may not be able to tap into a legal defense fund set up to help her offset those costs.

The New York Times:

The preliminary report, written by Thomas M. Daniel, an investigator for the state personnel board, came in response to an ethics complaint filed shortly after the fund was established a few months ago. The complaint questioned whether it was proper for the governor to have a defense fund in the first place.

The report, written July 14 and first reported Tuesday by The Associated Press, said that the governor had an unfair fund-raising advantage over ordinary citizens because she was a public official, that her fund was trading on her status as a public official to solicit donations and that contributions to the fund could amount to improper gifts under Alaska law. It recommended that Ms. Palin refuse to accept payment from the fund.

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