Politics & Government

Subpoenaed Palin aides could be found in contempt

With state officials again defying legislative subpoenas in the investigation of whether Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power, the war between state lawmakers and Alaska's attorney general is escalating.The governor's chief of staff, Mike Nizich, and six other Palin aides didn't show up Friday to honor subpoenas ordering them to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee chairman, Anchorage Democratic Sen. Hollis French, said they could be found in contempt when the full Legislature convenes in January, a finding that carries potential jail time.

Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg, a Palin appointee, filed a lawsuit late Thursday asking the courts to declare the subpoenas invalid so the state employees would not be punished for ignoring them.

Colberg said his office has told the employees they had a choice to disobey the legislative subpoenas - advice that has state legislators furious.

"We have advised people that is an option. And that we think the subpoenas have flaws," he said.

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