Saturday, October 11, 2008

Murlene Wilkes Sends Out a Letter

Murlene Wilkes has sent out a vaguely threatening letter. I haven't gotten it. But Andrew Halcro has posted it at his blog.

I did carry an excerpt from an article by Jason Leopold that has since taken on the appearance of being inaccurate on one point, dealing with Ms. Wilkes. And I provided a hyperlink to Leopold's article.

The possibility of Leopold's article being inaccurate in this way came up in the comments. The comments to Andrew's article on this right now are certainly worth reading too.

Here's Murlene Wilkes' statement:

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. I 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 your names and e-mail addresses with any continuing defaming 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


I'm not going to comment on her statement. Again, that is being done quite thoroughly at Halcro's blog.


Anonymous said...

well this is interesting.

Murlene's statement has some holes. First of all Branchflower's report didn't mention anything that murleen didn't speak to todd or sarah. and it does have confirmation that she got a phone call about the wooten claim and the fact is that it was denied before it was settled and on top of that there's todd's affidavit and the report too where he was trying to get wootens claim denied.

so murlene may have handled it properly but there also could have been pressure.

and branchflower doesn't explain the discrepency between her story and her former employees story, the one who said murlene told her there was pressure.

i have a hard time believing that a disgruntled employee would make false claims under oath simply to get back at murlene.

Anonymous said...

by the way, this is from Dan Fagan's column of Sept 25:

Here's why this is all so damaging to the governor. It's one thing to try to get a trooper fired because you believe he is a danger to the public. But using your considerable power as governor to block the benefits of a former family member you have a long-running dispute with moves this scandal into a new realm.

We know the governor's office was very interested in Wooten. Dianne Kiesel, a state employee with the Department of Administration, tells me former Palin chief of staff Mike Tibbles instructed her to walk Wooten's personnel file over to the governor's office.

And there is the governor's aide, Frank Bailey, caught on tape admitting he has information that came from Wooten's workers' comp file.

The very file that includes pictures, taken by none other than Todd Palin, of Wooten riding a snowmachine trying to prove the trooper was not injured.

Anonymous said...

I love Dan Fagan.

Anonymous said...

Johanna Grasso, the claims person who used to work at Harbor and handled Wooten's claim, just posted this comment at Andrew Halcro's blog disputing Wilkes's statement:

Harbor Adjustment Service
Submitted by Johanna (not verified) on Sun, 2008-10-12 10:05.

OK, I'll Bite! Finding Number 3: The claim was handled appropriately at Harbor Adjustment Service because I made sure it was. I worked at Harbor, twice, for a total of 8 years. I left because I received a great opportunity to leave adjusting and become the manager of a property, liability, and workers' compensation claims department. I left in Harbor good standing. I was not told I was inelgible for rehire. I was not disgruntled and not insubordinate. I had returned numerous times to visit staff, including Murlene. I called 3 of the adjusters to say hello over the year since I had left. I had lunch with one adjuster, on a monthly basis, who still works there. We had been friends since 1991 but now she won't speak with me because she believes I lied in some way. Murlene's statement posted here is very false and causes me grave concern about my reputation. Murlene told me in a closed door meeting who Wooten was in relation to the governor. She told me that the Division of Risk Managment was pleased with my claims handling of the Wooten case. She told me the Division of Risk Management heard from someone in the Governor's office that they wanted the claim denied. I indicated that I would not handle his claim differently knowing this and I didn't care if the President wanted it denied; that I would not do it because of WHO the claimant was! I told her I would not deny it without the proper evidence as my license was on the line. I left Murlene's office frustrated that the Governor's long reaching arm was already felt in the few months Palin became Governor. I had to keep adjusting the claim and not think about who I was dealing with. In fact, I vented with others in the office about the Governor's office after that conversation. Murlene did not pressure me to deny the claim. The frustration, for me, was about the Governor's office more than anything else. I called the tipline about 3 weeks before Palin was nominated for VP. When I provided my statement to Branchflower in August 2008, I had NO idea he had already spoken with Murlene. I gave my very short statement and afterward, he said he had already spoken with Murlene and he would have to recontact her. Branchflower is the one who indicated to the legislators in September the Murlene may have lied and may have financial incentive to not say anthing due to her contract with the State of Alaska. I merely gave my statement and left! Yes, the claim was handled appropriately regardless of the information I had about who Wooten was and that the Governor's office wanted it denied for whatever reason. Afterall, when I denied benefits, MY license was the one on the line.

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