Investigator Rules Against Palin In Ethics Probe

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According to The Associated Press, days before Gov. Sarah Palin is scheduled to leave office, the former vice presidential candidate is facing yet another legal distraction: An independent investigator found evidence she may have violated ethics laws by trading on her position as she sought money for lawyer fees.

A report obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press says Palin is securing unwarranted benefits and receiving improper gifts through the Alaska Fund Trust, set up by supporters.

An investigator for the state personnel board says in the July 14 report that there is probable cause to believe Palin used or attempted to use her official position for personal gain because she authorized the creation of the Alaska Fund Trust as the "official" legal defense fund.

The practical effect of the ruling on Palin will be more financial than anything else, although the fate of the tens of thousands of dollars in the fund is unclear, said Palin attorney Thomas Van Flein. Palin posted an entry on Twitter in which she said the "matter is still pending," a statement echoed by Van Flein.

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