Critics Question Palin's Record on "Epidemic" Rape, Domestic Violence in Alaska

Some members of Palin's administration were focused on the issue of sexual violence. Officials in the Department of Public Safety were devising an ambitious, multi-million-dollar initiative to seriously tackle sex crimes in the state, but Palin's office put the plan on hold in July.

Days later, Palin fired its chief proponent, Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, after he declined to dismiss a state trooper Palin accused of threatening her own family members. Palin has said she fired Monegan because she wanted to move his department in a "new direction," and he was not being "a team player on budgeting issues." The dismissal is now at the center of a hotly-contested investigation by the state legislature.

The status of the plan, which would have "fast-tracked" sex crime cases via a dedicated group that included specially-trained investigators, judges and prosecutors, is unknown. "I'd ask the governor," said one official with knowledge of the plan. Numerous inquiries to Palin's campaign spokeswoman went unreturned.

Coincidentally, Palin had praised Monegan -- and specifically his work on domestic violence -- just months before she fired him.

"An indication of our commitment is the participation here of my, our, department of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan's participation here and all of his hard work, and I want to publicly thank him," Palin said in remarks at an April 28 conference on domestic violence. "I want to publicly thank Walt for having his heart in the right place and his efforts too."

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