The director of permits and licensing at the wildlife refuge in which Sarah Palin’s daughter frequently cut fur with her daughter in 2014 will appear in a secret federal investigation.
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The attorney general of Alaska announced on Thursday that state agent Timothy Burke, head of the wildlife refuge, would testify in an investigation into Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol, after meeting Burke in Washington.
It’s unclear why Burke was called to testify. Burke has already been subpoenaed by the federal court in Alaska and the special inspector general for the interior department. He is said to have claimed immunity but the inspector general said it was unclear whether he was. Burke, who was unavailable for comment, has said he would cooperate.
According to court documents, Burke went to the southern Alaska refuge with Bristol Palin to speak with the animal wranglers working there.
“Tim Burke conducted the initial investigation relating to the Palin family,” the news release read. “It has now been determined that Burke will be interviewed by the US attorney’s office and the inspector general as part of this ongoing investigation.”
Bristol Palin was “involved in illegally possessing and possessing wildlife”. The fact that a person in a position of authority and authority had engaged in what is known as “fishing with a hook” – bringing a captive fish into a stream and then throwing a line in the water in hopes of hooking something with the hook – violated an Alaska state statute, the government wrote in the complaint.
The area around the bridge Sarah Palin served as mayor of Wasilla is expected to become a monument for presidential historian Ron Chernow’s portrait, in a display to be unveiled in Anchorage this week. Photograph: Joshua Trujillo/AP
“Agent Burke has been an inspector for the Department of Fish and Game in Alaska for more than a decade,” the attorney general’s office said. “He has spent his entire career in Alaska.”
The state of Alaska last month asked the judge overseeing the separate court case to compel Palin and her husband, Todd, to testify about the sale of $99,000 worth of fur – including a polar bear – to John Hunt, a French government official, who paid Palin $5,000 in cash during a meeting at the president’s residence in Seoul in January 2013.
Todd Palin has said the sale was legal and carried out under orders from the US government.
Palin is a longtime conservationist and former governor of Alaska and her political action committee is backing candidates who favor federal public lands protection, including the Republican governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez.
John Farrar, a lawyer for Palin, declined to comment.
Palin, a mother of five, has served as mayor of the city of Wasilla from 2002 to 2010 and still lives there.
Palin, who has described herself as “one of the family” of Wasilla, is a guest star in an upcoming movie about the late US president John F Kennedy’s younger brother, Roger; an attempt by the governor of Alaska to buy the film rights to a book about her husband has been rejected by the film industry.
Palin’s daughter, who also had “a substantial furs operation” in Palin’s backyard, is now an activist on social issues. Her mother is a former Republican vice-presidential candidate.
Her mother served as mayor of Wasilla from 2002 to 2010 and her television show, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska”, made its final broadcast this year.