"Tim Petumenos, an Anchorage attorney hired by the state Personnel Board to investigate, said Thursday the legal defense fund violated state law because it 'constituted using public office to obtain private benefit.' He said the fund, which was set up while Palin was still governor, inappropriately said it was the 'official website' of Palin, and made reference to her work in public office. Petumenos upheld an ethics complaint that was filed 15 months ago against the trust."So, Palin, who spent none of the money in the fund and will return contributions to it made while she was in public office, has set up a new fund.
The old fund was extremely severe on contributions with a limit of $150 per contributor. The new fund, following current legal guidelines for defense funds such as President Clinton's and John Kerry's, allows for $13,500 per contributor.
There is no problem with about $33,000 of the old defense fund since it was collected while Palin was a private citizen. Tim Petumenos, the Anchorage attorney making the call, said Palin did not "knowingly" break state ethics law.
"Petumenos said there's nothing illegal about Palin having a legal defense fund as a private citizen. The Alaska Fund Trust is allowed to keep the $33,546 collected after she resigned as governor, although her lawyer said it will go to pay expenses of the trust. As of March, the fund had spent $87,680 on legal and other expenses, he said."I gave part of my last year's stimulus funds to Palin's first defense fund, and will transfer that over to the new defense fund and add some. Since I'm not independently wealthy, my thanks to Congress and the President for making that possible.
. . .
"Petumenos said the evidence supports Palin's contention that she did not 'knowingly' break state ethics law with the legal defense fund. But he said that doesn't change the fund's being illegal."
I've put a link on my sidebar to the new fund.