More changes to ethics process proposed by bill

Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2010

JUNEAU - The state could be asked to pay the cost of private attorneys hired by a governor accused of breaking ethics laws, under a bill proposed by an Anchorage Democrat.

The bill introduced Friday by Rep. Max Gruenberg Jr. applies to current and former officials accused of executive branch ethics violations. It would leave the state open to paying unspecified "reasonable" fees if the official accused was cleared in the matter or the case was dismissed.

Gruenberg did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Ethics questions hounded former Gov. Sarah Palin before she stepped down last year, and she's complained the state ethics process helped push her from office.

At least two other lawmakers have cited Palin's situation for their concerns about the ethics process. They've proposed barring people who lodge complaints against executive branch officials from saying so.

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