Alaska legislators approved Monday hiring a special investigator to look into the firing of Walt Monegan from his job as commissioner of public safety.
Meeting in Juneau, the Legislative Council voted 12-0 to spend up to $100,000 "to investigate the circumstances and events surrounding the termination of former Public Safety Commissioner Monegan and potential abuses of power and or improper action by members of the executive branch."
Monegan was fired two weeks ago at Gov. Sarah Palin's direction by her chief of staff. The firing was unexpected and unexplained and gave rise to accusations that it was retaliation by the Palin family for Monegan's refusal to fire an Alaska state trooper formerly married to Palin's sister and currently embroiled in an ugly custody fight with her.
The Legislative Council is a bipartisan, 14-member panel made up of seven senators and seven House members that manages legislative business when the Legislature is between regular sessions. Two members were not at the Monday session.