Sarah Palin Rejects Juneteenth Settlement, State Incurs More Legal Costs

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Former Governor Sarah Palin, in the wake of her much publicized book and upcoming interview on Oprah, has rejected a settlement offer in the 2009 Juneteenth lawsuit. The Plaintiffs' settlement offer, made by jazz musician Gregory Charles Royal and former Palin supporter Kim Chatman, was for Palin to merely follow through on what Alaska Assistant Attorney General Margaret Paton-Walsh said Palin would do: issue the 2007 proclamation.

that the governor is going to issue the 2007 proclamation

Former Governor Sarah Palin, in the wake of her much publicized book and upcoming interview on Oprah, has rejected a settlement offer in the 2009 Juneteenth lawsuit (Case no. 3:09-cv-00091 United States District Court of Alaska). The plaintiffs' settlement offer, made by jazz musician Gregory Charles Royal and former Palin supporter Kim Chatman, was for Palin to merely follow through on what Alaska Assistant Attorney General Margaret Paton-Walsh said Palin would do: issue the 2007 proclamation.

Palin has been accused by the plaintifffs and has publicly admitted that she failed to issue the 2007 Juneteenth Day Proclamation which was required under Alaska statute. Palin has also been accused by African American leaders in Alaska as being the first governor in the state not to support the holiday observance.

Commenting on Walsh's statement made in a July 2009 Associated Press article "that the governor is going to issue the 2007 proclamation" and that "a very big deal is being made out of a very small clerical error", Royal said: "Palin's choice, which should be clear to everybody at this point, to defy the African-American observance demonstrates exactly why we pushed in a lawsuit, what some called a trivial issue. We knew what she would do and just sat back to watch it play out. Her motivations, which as far as their racial component, we will let the public debate. Her claims that public resources have been wasted fighting ethics complaint is, well need I say more? The cost of our settlement for her to comply with the law, zero. The continuing cost to the state for her to evade issuing the proclamation, I'm sure she knows the math."

In a October 26th order, Alaska District Court judge Timothy Burgess has also ordered Palin to explain by November 4th, her claims that she has not been served the lawsuit which sparked a flurry of motions in August:

"It is unclear to the Court whether the defendant continues to contest that she was served"...."If service is still contested, the defendant must explain what steps she believes the plaintiffs must now take in order to properly serve her, and how she suggests this be accomplished." " The defendant is cautioned that so long as a party receives sufficient notice of the complaint, Rule 4 is to be liberally construed to uphold service'"......"Among other attempts at service, the plaintiffs filed an unexecuted service of summons stating that when their process server attempted to serve the defendant at the Governor's Office, her executive secretary refused to accept service."...."Sufficient service may be found where there is a good faith effort to comply with the requirements (for service) and further compliance ... is only prevented by the defendant's knowing and intentional actions to evade service."

In that same order, judge Burgess provided Royal and Chatman an opportunity to correct certain deficiencies in their complaint for the court to retain jurisdiction by November 18th. Royal feels confident they will meet that burden.

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SUSAN VERES

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