Palin Pays Off Sexual Harasser

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Like a ripple in a pond, the troopergate scandal gave birth to the sexual harassment scandal, which is more of a blip on the megamedia radar screen.  Troopergate focuses on whether Palin fired a state commissioner for not firing a state trooper, who just happened to be divorcing her sister. Within days of firing the state commissioner, Palin replaced him with a fellow fundie who had been officially reprimanded for sexual harassment a few years earlier when he was a city police chief. While the national media went on vacation, Alaska media wanted to know why she appointed a known sexual harasser. A local “media firestorm” culminated in his resignation two weeks later — and a $10,000 exit “bonus.”  The local media coverage also revealed how Palin was a quick study of the Bush/Cheney school of executive spin and illustrated how Palin is the right-wing’s new “feminist” darling by gender only.  

When news broke that Palin would replace the fired state commissioner with Chuck Kopp, the complainant in the sexual harassment case sent an email to Palin to warn her that the city had validated her complaint. The complainant offered to show her files, but no one from Palin’s office contacted her before announcing Kopp’s appointment the following day.  The governor’s office confirmed that Palin did receive the email.

Flashing back a few years to when the sexual harassment occurred, Kopp was a city police chief and acting city manager and the complainant was his assistant. After an investigation by the city, Kopp was officially reprimanded for hugging her frequently, massaging her neck and shoulder, kissing her on the cheek (which may have been witnessed by another officer) and grabbing her leg in a car ride. (video of complainant interview at this link)

The complainant objected, and told Kopp that she would not have an “unprofessional relationship.”  Kopp assured her that it would be a professional relationship and that the “close relationship” that he had with his “previous assistant” would not happen again because it was a “mistake.”  However, Kopp continued with his sexual harassment and so she filed a complaint with the city.  According to the complainant, Kopp admitted (video interview at link) to another city manager that he had hugged and kissed her and how he was “sorry about that.”  

The city attorney informed the complainant by letter that the city “immediately launched an investigation” into Kopp’s conduct.  As a result of its investigation, Kopp was “removed immediately from his supervisory role” over the complainant, but confidentiality precluded the city from telling her what other action had been taken against Kopp.  Media reports revealed that the “other action” taken against Kopp included the issuance in his personnel file of an official letter of reprimand, which mandated that he should never hug or touch employees. Kopp then worked out a deal with the city that his reprimand would be removed from his personnel file if no other complaints were filed in a two-year period.  Palin would later use the absence of this reprimand in his file today as an excuse for not knowing that she had appointed a sexual harasser.

Moving forward to July 2008, Palin spent two weeks brushing off media inquiries as to why she appointed a sexual harasser as a state commissioner.  

Around July 17th, Palin initially dismissed the sexual harassment by saying that it was quite common for people who had been arrested to “bad mouth” the police, but did not explain WTF this has to do with this case. These initial remarks are quite telling about how Palin views sexual harassment because after Kopp resigns, Palin suggests that poor Kopp really got a bum deal.

On July 18th, Palin “explained” that she knew about the sexual harassment complaint against Kopp when she appointed him as state commissioner, but “looking at the investigation” conducted by the city, “we have been shown that he was cleared of the allegations.”  While the reprimand had been expunged from his personnel file, what about the city attorney’s letter which validated the complaint or any witness statements or other evidence which led the city to conclude that an official reprimand was necessary?

On July 21st, Kopp tried to end media questions (video at link) by stating that no “sexual harassment allegation” ever “resulted in a lawsuit or a settlement” and “no job action was ever taken against him – if there was, he would not be here today” as the state commissioner holding his first press conference.  This is important.  Even Kopp admitted that it would not be appropriate for Palin to appoint him as commissioner if the city took some job action against him.  Hello? After the investigation, the city removed Kopp as the complainant’s supervisor and issued the official reprimand.

On July 22, Palin tried to quell the media firestorm by stating that the sexual harassment charges were never “substantiated,” which she should know because she had reviewed the sexual harassment complaint.  LOL, that same day, Kopp held another press conference where he admitted that the city officially issued a letter of reprimand which told him to never hug or touch employees.

A couple days later, Palin states that she did not learn about the reprimand letter until Kopp’s press conference. However, Kopp stated that Palin’s office knew of this harassment complaint since 2006 when he was named to her transition team, but that this case and the letter of reprimand was not raised with him when he was interviewed for the commissioner position.

On July 25th, Kopp announced his resignation at a press conference with Palin and both indicated that he had been smeared.  Kopp stated that while he has been “portrayed in a negative light,” his “personal worth was found in the person of Jesus Christ.”

Kopp indicated that his resignation was due to the “media firestorm” which interfered with his ability to perform his job. The day before, Palin stated that she was very concerned when she learned that Kopp had been officially reprimanded. But, Palin’s concern disappeared at this press conference where she suggested that the unfounded media firestorm had tainted this good man to the point that his resignation was now in the best interest of all concerned:  “Is it any wonder that not too many people choose to enter the political and public arena. This has been brutal on a good family” and Kopp must now “protect his family from further stress.”

Thus, Palin decided Kopp’s resignation was politically expedient because it was now public that he had been reprimanded for sexual harassment. Palin then rewarded Kopp with a $10,000 severance package for his two weeks as commissioner.  However, the money does not constitute wages but rather a settlement against future claims against the state related to his two weeks as commissioner.

Palin has refused to discuss her vetting of Kopp or why she concluded that the sexual harassment complaint was “unsubstantiated.” But, we can rest assured that she will be a great VP for McBush because she conducted a “thorough investigation” of Kopp before he was appointed.


  1. actually, palin could give bush/cheney some lessons on lying, deceit and slime!

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