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It seems that at least one independent witness in the Troopergate investigation has changed her tune once she was sworn under oath.

Murlene Wilkens, the private contractor hired to manage Worker's Compensation claims for the State of Alaska at first released statements that no pressure was put on her in the case of Trooper Wooten, Sarah Palin's ex-brother-in-law.

From this story posted yesterday:
Palin Implicated By Witness in ‘Troopergate’ Probe
it appears that Wilkens' story under oath suddenly changed, and after seeing hard evidence, including sworn testimony of one of her own employees, she admits to denying Trooper Wooten's previously approved claim at the direct request of Sarah and Todd Palin.

Much more to Sarah Palin's abuse of power and her vendetta against the ex-brother-in-law is beginning to surface.  And of course, goon-husband Todd is right in the middle of it.

UPDATE 7:  Apologies to ALL women.  Someone (not me) cross-posted this diary to Democratic Underground, where someone else pointed out that the correct term is Worker's Compensation.
UPDATES and more below the fold:

UPDATE 1:  Clarification of why I sourced Jason Leopold is here.  It should have been in the original diary.

UPDATE 2: 3:45 pm  People were questioning why Mudflats wasn't running with this story, but it is now up here.

UPDATE 3: 5:32 pm - For those not familiar with the Troopergate chronology, here is a short video recap from Anchorage Daily News with the dramatic shift in position of Sarah Palin, her "transparency" speeches, her press conference revealing that her office had roughly two dozen exchanges with State Police concerning Wooten, and the subsequent stonewalling after accepting the nomination for VP.  (Old news to those of us following this saga, but excellent background for newer readers.)

UPDATE 4 6:18 pm  While I appreciate being on the rec list,
any TIPS need to go HERE before midnight.
or here if you haven't supported Orange to Blue yet. (Only $18,527 left to go as I write this...)

UPDATE 5:  8:50 pm - Orange to Blue is now $2490 over goal.  I'd like to think my writing helped inspire some contributors.  And only two candidates left to kick over the $20K mark with 3 hours left to go.  How far over goal will we end up?  Only you know.

UPDATE 6: 11:56 pm  BREAKING:  Newly Discovered Secret Palin Email Accounts
Read this new diary WaPo: Palin Used Another Private Email To Communicate With Staff by Mash.  It seems a whole different set of secret email accounts were managed by, guess who... Frank Bailey (he of the infamous recorded intimidation call)

Original diary below.
--------------------------------------------------

I have been somewhat obsessed with following the Troopergate Scandal (and btw, it IS a scandal) ever since Sarah Palin and John McShoddy had their 15-minutes of "soulmate" bonding last month.

The Abuse of Power charges against Sarah Palin are real.  Evidence already in the public domain clearly demonstrate a four-year vendetta by Sarah and Todd Palin against her ex-brother-in-law, Trooper Wooten.

The campaign of John McShoddy continues to control most news emanating from Alaska.  RNC-paid DC lawyers control the press conferences of elected Alaskan officials.  RNC-paid DC lawyers are listed on the series of frivolous lawsuits currently being filed against the state's Judiciary Committee.  The stonewalling is massive.

Sarah Palin and her family were warned in 2005 by a divorce court judge to stop their vendetta against Trooper Wooten.  The judge told them that continuing their vendetta was "emotional child abuse."

But Alaska is small in population.  As inevitably happens, people within the Alaskan government offices are beginning to talk.

On September 20, Anchorage Daily News, in commentary from conservative Dan Fagan Troopergate is all about getting even, not justice, it was reported that:

The real damage to Palin from Troopergate comes with an injury claim involving trooper Wooten when he hurt his back while in the line of duty.

Independent investigator Steve Branchflower testified recently he believes someone in the governor's office tried to block Wooten's workers' compensation injury benefits.

Harbor Adjustment Services, the company hired by the state to process, evaluate and decide on workers' benefit claims, had great financial incentive in bowing to pressure from the governor to deny Wooten's injury claim.

Obviously, the state is Harbor Adjustment Services' largest client. The owner of the company denies the governor's office pressured her to deny Wooten's benefits. Why wouldn't she? Ratting out the governor could cost her the lucrative state contract.

But Branchflower says an employee with Harbor Adjustment Services contradicts the owner and has testified the governor's office did apply pressure to deny Wooten his benefits.

Branchflower says the unnamed employee testified, "I don't, you know, care if it's the president who wants the claim denied. I'm not going to deny it unless I have the medical evidence to do that,"

Why is that old news important?  Because of the following information posted yesterday: (Bolding and note mine)

Murlene Wilkes, the proprietor of Harbor Adjusting Services in Anchorage, had originally denied that she was pressured by Gov. Palin’s office to deny state trooper Mike Wooten’s claim for workers compensation benefits.

But Wilkes changed her story two weeks ago when she was subpoenaed by Steven Branchflower, the former federal prosecutor who was appointed in July to probe allegations Gov. Palin, Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s running mate, abused her office by abruptly ousting Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, state officials knowledgeable about her conversation with Branchflower said.

Wilkes has a $1.2 million contract with the state to handle workers compensation claims. Her contract with the state was up but her firm was recently given a new contract despite the fact that there were others who provided the state with a lower bid than Wilkes’s firm. One of the other applicants who submitted a lower bid has appealed the decision.

Wilkes told Branchflower she believed it was impressed upon her from Palin's office that she would lose the contract if she did not deny the claim, state officials knowledgeable about her testimony said.  

Although Wooten did receive worker's compensation benefits for about three months, his claim was suddenly denied and he was forced to hire a lawyer and appeal the issue...

"Frank Bailey was getting people to say that [Wooten] was lying on his worker’s comp form," Cyr said. "The governor’s family was following Mike around everywhere. They forwarded that information to the worker’s comp division." (NOTE:  This is confirmed on the recorded intimidation call from Bailey to State Police Headquarters.)

But Branchflower has obtained evidence that extends beyond Wilkes’s statements that shows the denial of Wooten’s benefits was due to Palin’s office involvement in the case, according to the officials knowledgeable about this aspect of the probe.

Branchflower has apparently zeroed in on a routing slip dated Aug. 21—about a month after the ethics probe into Palin was launched—from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development shows Wooten’s workers comp file was pulled and sent to the attention of Mike Monagle, a state manager with the workers' compensation division.

"Wooten, as requested," the routing slip says, which was made out to the attention of "Mike Monagle."

As news continues to leak through the Palin/McShame/DC Lawyer smokescreen in Alaska, more and more of the original charges of Abuse of Power are being confirmed every day.

We must all remember that these were charges brought by Alaskans, long before Sarah Palin entered national politics.

We must also remember that the Republican-controlled State Legislature started this independent investigation, by a unanimous vote of 12-0 (8 Republicans and 4 Democrats).

John McShame's incredibly poor judgment in selecting Sarah Palin for national office is the issue here.  John McShame's shoddy excuse for a vetting process cannot be tolerated at the highest level of government in this country.

John McShame has neither the temperament nor the judgment to hold elected office.  John McShame is despicable and dishonorable.

Originally posted to Eman on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:31 AM PDT.

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