Politics & Government

Commentary | No angel

In the Troopergate scandal, some of Gov. Sarah Palin's defenders have lost sight of an important point. It is possible to criticize the governor's original conduct and subsequent stonewalling, as we do, without giving trooper Mike Wooten a pass on his improper behavior.

Let's be clear: Mike Wooten is no angel. The fact that he is still a trooper suggests that the Legislature should review the troopers' disciplinary standards.

Trooper Wooten gave his 10-year-old stepson a "test" firing from his state-issued Taser because the boy wanted to know what it was like. That was astoundingly bad judgment. Because the child "consented," and the test apparently produced no lasting harm, Wooten would have a good defense against any criminal charges. But it was a hopelessly inappropriate thing for a state trooper to do with state-issued equipment.

Trooper Wooten also shot a moose illegally, using his wife's permit. At the time the incident was investigated, he was a wildlife enforcement officer responsible for enforcing the very same hunting laws he broke. Questioned by troopers about the incident, he said he felt it was not inappropriate, according to the troopers' disciplinary report.

Read the complete editorial at adn.com