Just days after Sarah Palin left the governor's office, in part because of a crush of what she called frivolous ethics complaints, Alaska's new attorney general is proposing sweeping changes in how such matters are handled.
Attorney General Dan Sullivan on Wednesday released a 19-page opinion about the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act and said reforms are needed to prevent bad-faith misuse of the process.
As evidence of a troubled ethics system, Sullivan singled out the leak two weeks ago of an ethics investigator's confidential report on Palin just as efforts were under way to resolve the matter. Such breaches could be stopped by changing the law so that people who bring complaints don't get interim reports from investigators, the way they do now, he said.
Sullivan also wants to change the rules so that the state can cover legal bills for public officials who are exonerated after an ethics investigation.
Perhaps the biggest, and most controversial, element of Sullivan's proposal targets people who abuse the ethics complaint system for political reasons.
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