Palin Guilty of Major Ethics Act Violation: Must Return $386,000 in Contributions

You betcha:

Nearly a year after she quit her governorship of Alaska, Sarah Palin was found guilty today of another breach of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act involving her so-called Alaska Fund Trust (AFT), which she established as a private “legal defense fund” while governor.

Timothy Petumenos, independent counsel for the Alaska Personnel Board (and ironically, the same independent counsel who issued the Troopergate findings nearly two years ago while Palin was the GOP vice-presidential nominee), presented the state’s Findings, Consent Decree and Settlement Agreement this afternoon from the perfectly named Adventure Room of the Captain Cook Hotel in downtown Anchorage.

In what is an extremely detailed finding, Petumenos ruled that even though Palin assigned the research of forming the fund to her former spokesperson Meghan Stapleton and even though Palin relied on extensive outside legal counsel, that “the Trust itself, as ultimately conceived, violates the Ethics Act.”