Troopergate lawsuit funds tallied in disclosures

Posted: Sunday, February 08, 2009

Six Republican legislators who tried to quash an abuse of power investigation into Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin received $185,000 in gifts of legal services in support of their lawsuit.

Approximately $40,000 in services came from the law firm of Anchorage attorney Kevin Clarkson, who argued the case in court; $120,000 from Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, LLP of Dallas, and $25,000 from the Liberty Legal Institute.

The Plano, Texas-based institute is a legal advocacy group which has taken on a variety of cases in defense of conservative Christian positions.

The lawmakers listed the free services in financial disclosure statements released Friday.

Their lawsuit argued that the legislative body that ordered the investigation into Palin's firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan exceeded its authority and that the investigation was tainted by partisan politics.

It was tossed out of court by Superior Court Judge Michael Michalski, who said the investigation was entirely within the Legislature's scope.

The six legislators are state Sens. Fred Dyson and Tom Wagoner, and Reps. Wes Keller, Bob Lynn, Mike Kelly and Carl Gatto.

Attorney Peter Maassen of Anchorage was paid $25,160 to defend the Legislature against the lawsuit, according to the Legislative Affairs Agency.

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