Earlier this month, a legislative panel launched a $100,000 investigation to determine whether Palin abused her influence by attempting to get her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper. The panel is currently questioning whether Palin dismissed the state's safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, because he refused to fire her ex-brother-in-law, Mike Wooten, whose marriage to Palin's sister ended in a bitter divorce and custody battle in 2005. Palin has denied the charges, and says she did not coordinate the reported dozens of telephone calls placed by her husband and administration to Wooten's bosses. Before Palin ran for governor, she and her husband accused Wooten of drinking alcohol on the job and illegal hunting. Wooten was briefly suspended over the allegations in 2006 but never dismissed.
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