Troopergate's Walter Monegan

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Al Grillo / AP

Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan in Anchorage, Alaska.

For Walter C. Monegan III — who as Alaska's former Public Safety Commissioner was the state's top cop — Oct. 10 couldn't have come sooner. After being fired in early July from his position by Governor Sarah Palin, Monegan quickly asserted that the reasons for his firing were unethical and unjustified. He maintained he was dismissed because he refused to succumb to pressure from the Palin administration to fire Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten, who was at that time going through a bitter divorce and custody battle with Palin's younger sister, Molly McCann. Monegan claimed the governor's office had contacted him more than two dozen times pressuring him to fire Wooten.

On Friday, Oct. 10, special investigator Stephen Branchflower released a report on his investigation into the so-called Troopergate scandal to the Alaska Legislative Council, affirming Monegan's accusations that the governor had abused her power and acted unethically. Branchflower found that Palin had violated a statute of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act, which states that "each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust." Branchflower went on to say that Palin was within her right as Governor to fire Monegan, but by allowing the personal matter with Wooten to contribute to her decision, she had done wrong.

Personal Life:

• Born in Seattle in 1951 to Elizabeth and Walter C. Monegan Jr.; raised by his grandparents in Western Alaska in a town called Nyac

• Has no declared party affiliation on his voter registration documents

• His first marriage, to Georgene Moldovan, ended in 1993 after more than 10 years; they had two daughters

• Remarried Terryene Mihara in 1995; they have four children

• On Sept. 15, investigative reporters Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Monegan's first wife had made claims of domestic abuse and threats on her life against him; at one point Moldovan filed a restraining order against Monegan. He denies the accusations but admits to accidentally dislocating his wife's shoulder before they were married during a playful "wrestling and tickling" match


• Enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1970 after one year of college at Alaska Methodist University; later completed a degree in organizational administration at Alaska Pacific University

• In July 1974, was hired as a patrolman with the Anchorage Police Department

• Before being appointed Public Safety Commissioner in 2006, Monegan worked for several units of the police department including Internal Affairs, Crime Prevention and Detectives, eventually getting appointed as Anchorage Chief of Police in 2001

What HE Says

• "In a nutshell, I never have and I never will condone domestic violence." (Regarding his former wife's accusations)

• "My wife and I have gone through a lot since July, and it's not a matter of being revenged or anything like that. It is more specifically just being relieved." (On his dismissal as Public Safety Commissioner)

• "I think [Governor Palin] took a big blow to her credibility, and more certainly, to her campaign promises of being open and transparent.

• "...[W]hat I tell people when they ask me who am I going to vote for, I say that's why they put those curtains around the ballot box in there."

What Others Say About Him

• "He's earned the respect of the rank and file, the officer on the street, the detectives." — retired Detective Linda Branchflower, wife of Troopergate special investigator Stephen Branchflower

• "In this case I knew that I had to have the right people in the right position at the right time in this cabinet to best serve Alaskans, and Walt Monegan was not the right person at the right time to meet the goals that we had set out in our administration." — Gov. Sarah Palin