Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Saradise Lost - Chapter Ninety-Eight -- Murlene Wilkes Changed Her Story to Branchflower?

from an article by Jason Leopold, for The Public Record:

An Alaska woman who owns a company that processes workers’ compensation claims in the state has told an independent investigator that she was urged by the office of Gov. Sarah Palin to deny a benefits claim for Palin’s ex brother-in-law, a state trooper who was involved in an ugly divorce and child custody dispute with Palin’s sister, despite evidence that the claim appeared to be legitimate, according to state officials who were briefed about the conversation.

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.

Monegan has said he felt pressured by Gov. Palin, her husband, Todd, and several of her aides to fire Wooten. Branchflower’s investigation centers on whether Palin fired Monegan because he refused to fire Wooten.


This is an important story by Jason Leopold. Click here to read the rest.

hat tip - Shannyn Moore

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this very interesting blog from which I learn a lot.

Shows that Alaska is not only crowded with Palintologists...

Naus (Paris, France)

baja said...

After the VP debates, the Branchflower report is second on my list of eagerly awaiting events.

It's looking more and more like the Palins abused their power of office. What a weird family characteristic to be so obsessed with revenge that you put you whole career on the line to get it?

What's that Shakesphere play whose moral point is that obsessing on revenge will be your donwfall as well?

Anonymous said...

Just an FYI- Leopold, in the past, has made some serious claims that turned out to be false.

He may have got this right...but his track record is shaky. (See Karl Rove indictment)

PJ McIlvaine said...

Yes, I hope Leopold has his sources correct or he has burned a lot of people on this story...

carrie said...

stop attacking the messenger for crying out loud. Do you really believe Karl Rove didn't attack Leopold for reporting the truth? Jesus Christ. What's wrong with you people

PJ McIlvaine said...

This is not attacking the messenger, believe me. But Leopold has broken stories which later turned out to be untrue, notably the story that Karl Rove had been indicted. I have not been able to independently verify Leopold's story thus far.

Anonymous said...

PJ...this story..at least the part regarding an employee of Murlene's was in the ADN on September 20. At that time, they said the employee could not be named, but that she called a tip line and gave a story very different than what Murlene had given.

This new report just says that Murlene was shown the evidence and decided to come clean. Murlene did not previously know that her employee had given sworn testimony I dont believe.

PJ McIlvaine said...

Let me be clear: the ONLY part of Leopold's story that hasn't yet been sourced or reported on by other media is the claim that Murlene "recanted" her earlier testimony when shown new evidence by Branchflower, and that she has now fingered Todd Palin. This may be true, but so far no other media, besides Leopold, is reporting it.

We need to be VERY careful in what we report about Palin, because one misstep could cause a backlash by the ring wingers, ie, they were wrong on THIS point, therefore the ENTIRE story is false.

VG said...

Phil,

I have to say that I agree with the "use extreme caution" sentiment re: Jason Leopold, for reasons that others have posted.

He really has an er... checkered history as to truthfulness and truthiness. And, a lot of personal baggage.

Philip Munger said...

Talking about this article with Dave Neiwerth. He agrees that Leopold is often inaccurate, but thinks this one might be on the spot...

VG said...

Thanks for the info, ET.

Just got back here to read your last comment.

Anonymous said...

Here's some real news that you can take to the bank.

Anonymous said...

Fresh Ammo:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/5yyjdz

Saskboy said...

Just stopping by from HuffPo to say it's good to see so many progressive blogs in Alaska. Good luck in the struggle to keep Palin out of power.

~Saskboy of ProgressiveBloggers.ca

PJ McIlvaine said...

Philip, to say it "might" be on the spot is not good enough. So far everyone is referencing Leopold's article as the source of this.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that someone leaked Branchflower's confidential report?

VG said...

Phil,

I have to agree with PJ McIlvaine on this one. "might" be on spot is not good enough

To repeat: Use extreme caution. Leopold has "issues" or has had in the past. And, he's burned people with things that sound plausible, but just aren't true. If you or Dave want to get to the bottom of this, then I suggest some independent investigating. Maybe it's true. Maybe it isn't.

PJ McIlvaine said...

As of today, I have not seen Leopold's claim that Murlene of Harbor flipped her testimony and named Todd Palin backed up by another outlet.

Anonymous said...

So Phil...are you goint to keep this post up? It appears to be pure rumor.

At least rumor is better than the stories your pal Max makes up out of whole cloth.

Anonymous said...

You people who call yoirself progressives are truly a piece of work. Have any of you read leopold's bod of work on palin over the past month? He has been ahead of every media outlet from day one. And he has posted documents to support his stories. Its all on his website the public record.

And to say that he has personal baggage as if that should somehow discredit his work is deplorable.

You all cite Karl Rove story as evidence, which was more tham two years ago. Since then he has written more than 100 stories. Unbelievable.

The msm has admiitted they arent covering troopergate. And you want to know why this isnt in the msm.

PJ McIlvaine said...

I refer to this paragraph in JL article of 10/01:

"The Public Record reported Monday that Wilkes, who testified under oath a couple of weeks ago, is said to have changed her story and confirmed Palin’s office said Wooten’s workers compensation claim should be denied when confronted by Branchflower with the contradictory information, according to three state officials knowledgeable about her subpoenaed testimony.

However, Wilkes’s sister, Carol Lindsey, in a series of email exchanges, vehemently denied that her sister changed her story during her testimony. Lindsey said the suggestion that Wilkes recanted her previous statement was an “outright lie.”

“I can only say that [Murlene] will tell anyone and everyone who asks her that she gave a statement and she has never changed that statement,” Lindsey said. “Beyond that I have no information. The story that she has changed her statement is a lie. You could ask her.”

JL should name the "three state officials" or supply supporting documents for his claimn that Murlene flipped her testimony.

Anonymous said...

Murlene Wilkes would never recant - ever - especially under oath and the report will confirm that if you can take the time to read it.

PJ McIlvaine said...

Given the fact that Branchflower in his report found that Wooten's claim was handled properly, it would seem that Leopold's article has a big fat hole in it.

Anonymous said...

I am Murlene Wilkes. I am going to issue a truthful comment to all of the bloggers who have lied over and over on these internet "web sites of sensationalism" as follows:

1)My deposition affirms that I do not know, nor have I ever had a conversation of any sort with Sarah or Todd Palin. O have never changed my testimony - "Flops like a Fish Out of Water" I THINK NOT!!!

2)No one has ever suggested or requested to anyone in my Company, nor to me, that Trooper Wooten's workers compensation claim should be denied. He received all statutory benefits and his claim was eventually settled.

3)The "tipster" with allegations of "feeling pressure to deny the Trooper's claim", was a former employee, disgruntled, insubordinate and not eligible for rehire when she terminated well over a year ago.

4) The Contract - my proposal was $240K more per year (not $300K as reported on these web sites). The increase was for benefits, raises, cost of living increases for the twelve (12) employees exclusively working on this account. The competitor protesting the selection of Harbor as the successful contractor, had only three employees (two of which were buying the competitor's business contingent upon the award of this contract) for the unconfirmed sum of $1.1 Million. THE CONTRACT HAS NOT BEEN AWARDED.

Therefore, please post you names and e-mail addresses with any continuing defamating and libel remarks so that you can be added as a defendant in the litigation contemplated for the future path these websites inspire.

Murlene J. Wilkes, President
HARBOR ADJUSTMENT SERVICE, INC.

game gold said...

On account of I have fiesta Gold , I am not afraid of the lonely. At that time I do not know the meaning of it. Later I buy fiesta money . And every time, I have no fiesta online gold , I will feel very anxious. Why I buy fiesta Gold , please it gives me such a warm place. At the moment, I have fiesta online money .

源远 said...

I want give they happy time, twelve sky Gold, I work here with 12sky gold. Though, I can not make much money, twelvesky Gold, But I want to Exercise myself, 12Sky Silver Coins, I get up early 12 sky gold.