Palin ethics complaint has cost Alaska 1.9 million dollars

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Anchorage (Alaska, US), July 10 (ANI): Alaska's response to ethics allegations and requests for information concerning the conduct of soon-to-be-ex-governor Sarah Palin has cost the state 1.9 million dollars.

The expense of supplying information and answering the allegationsis a key reason behind Palin's decision to resign from her post on July 26.

Her office supplied the cost breakdown late Wednesday, reports the Miami Herald.

The ethics complaints and requests for information rose after she was tapped to run for vice president on the national Republican ticket.

Palin's office and her supporters insist that these state-borne costs weighed heavily on the governor, along with her own personal legal bills.

Others scoff at the idea that she's leaving office over it.

The spreadsheet released Wednesday shows that most of the 1.9 million dollars - spread over Palin's tenure - is for staff time of state attorneys and other salaried state employees, who would have been paid anyway.

The total expended to date is 0.02 percent of Alaska's operating budget of 8.7 billion dollars for fiscal year 2010.

All 15 ethics complaints against Palin considered so far by Alaska's Personnel Board have been dismissed, though one resulted in a settlement requiring the governor to reimburse the state for travel costs incurred by her family.

The Personnel Board's costs were dominated by the so-called Troopergate affair, in which Palin was accused of firing the public safety commissioner because he did not fire a state trooper involved in a contentious divorce from the governor's sister.

Critics, however, have rejected the notion that Palin is leaving her job to spare Alaska further distraction and expense.

"The only reason she's quitting is she's got to cash in while the getting's good," says Palin foe Andree McLeod, an Anchorage activist. (ANI)

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