Palin legal bills likely exceed $600,000

June 22, 2009 at 3:27 PM
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska, June 22 (UPI) -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has likely racked up more than $600,000 in legal bills battling ethics complaints, the trustee for her legal defense fund says.

A national campaign to help her pay off the bills, stoked by a conservative Web site, says it has received more than $100,000 in contributions in the past week.

"My sense is they (the bills) are over $600,000" and continuing to climb, defense fund trustee Kristan Cole told the Anchorage Daily News.

Palin supporters call some of the ethics complaints groundless, and the governor's office noted 14 have been dismissed without finding she violated the state ethics act, the Daily News reported on its Web site Monday.

It remained unclear how much of Palin's legal bills resulted form the state Personnel Board's "Troopergate" investigation last fall into her firing of the state public safety director after he resisted pressure to furlough the governor's former brother-in-law, the Daily News said.

The 45-year-old Republican governor prompted the board's investigation when she sent it an ethics disclosure, contending the Legislature's investigation of the firing was political.

Palin supporters started the legal defense fund, the Alaska Fund Trust, in April. How much it has raised remains unknown, and the trust has no oversight from state or federal agencies, the newspaper reported.

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