St. Louis Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin testified for two hours Friday in an abuse-of-power investigation that has been a distraction to her Republican vice presidential campaign.
Palin's leadership was questioned this month in a stinging but largely toothless legislative report that found she violated state ethics laws by letting a family dispute influence her decision-making.
Palin is hoping the Alaska Personnel Board, which is running a parallel investigation, will clear her of wrongdoing. It's unclear, however, whether any conclusion will be reached before Election Day.
"I am so pleased to finally have gotten the chance to tell what really happened and get the truth out," Palin said in a statement released by her attorney. "It was the right thing to do to bring this before the Personnel Board and have a true arm's length unbiased and apolitical investigator look into this."
The board is investigating the firing of her public safety commissioner, Walter Monegan. Monegan claims he was dismissed because he refused to fire Palin's former brother-in-law, a state trooper involved in a messy divorce from Palin's sister. The controversy, known as "Troopergate," took on national significance after John McCain selected Palin as his running mate.
The legislative inquiry found that Monegan's firing was proper but the pressure to fire the trooper, Mike Wooten, was not. Griffin says Palin stands by her decision to fire Monegan and her concerns about Wooten.
Palin and her husband, Todd, say Wooten was unstable and had made threats against their family. Wooten had also used an electric stun gun on his stepson.
"I make no apologies for wanting to protect my family and wanting to publicize the injustice of a violent trooper keeping his badge," Todd Palin said in an affidavit submitted to legislative investigators.
Sarah Palin was not subpoenaed in that investigation. Friday's testimony before independent investigator Timothy Petumenos was the first time she spoke at length or under oath about the controversy. Palin began testifying around 4 p.m., McCain campaign spokesman Taylor Griffin said.