Politics & Government

Another Palin ethics complaint dismissed

ANCHORAGE — The state has dismissed an ethics complaint alleging a close adviser to Gov. Sarah Palin played politics on state time while traveling with Palin on the vice presidential campaign trail and afterward.

The attorney general's office said there wasn't evidence backing up the charge Anchorage activist Andree McLeod made against Kris Perry, the head of the governor's Anchorage office.

The governor's office said this was the 15th dismissed ethics complaint against Palin or her staff.

Palin did agree to settle one complaint by reimbursing the state $8,143 for her children's state-funded travel.

The governor's office, in its Tuesday statement announcing the dismissal, asserted that the state has spent "millions of dollars" in the past two years processing ethics complaints, public records requests and related lawsuits. Asked for a breakdown of exactly how that figure was reached, Palin spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said she was working on consolidating the costs and would provide a breakdown by the end of the week.

The dismissal of McLeod's complaint said there was no evidence "suggesting that Perry misused her state time in any substantial way or did not intend to benefit the public interest when accompanying the governor on her trips."

It said the purpose of Perry going with the governor on the vice presidential campaign trail – and later to Georgia when Palin campaigned there for Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss – was to ensure Palin remained in contact with state business.

That required Perry to be at political events, it said.

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