“The weight of Trooper-Gate finally got to him,” said the lawmaker, a Democrat, who made clear that they weren’t speaking from direct knowledge of Colberg’s decision, but rather on the basis of involvement in the issue as a legislator.
The lawmaker said that Colberg’s decision, during Trooper-Gate, to sue to quash subpoenas issued by the legislature to key Palin administration witnesses was now widely viewed as “a bad call.” That move helped delay the witnesses’ testimony, and limit its scope, meaning that the legislature’s report on Trooper-Gate, released just before the election, remained incomplete.
“The advice he gave to members of the Palin administration not to appear was very bad advice,” said the lawmaker. “He’s gotten a lot of bad press over that, and so has the governor.”
“You can’t ignore a legislative subpoena,” the lawmaker went on. “By doing so they had some short term gain … now, the elections over and the chickens have come home to roost on that issue.”
The lawmaker, who stressed that they wished Colberg well, and bore no ill will toward him, continued: “Everyone was caught up in the moment of the presidential election, and there were some political decisions that were made that people are ultimately regretting today.”
The lawmaker said that after the nine witnesses, including Todd Palin, were found in contempt last week, many in the legislature publicly expressed the view that Colberg needed to answer more questions. Colberg had appeared before a contentious House committee, but might well have been forced to appear before the Senate as well.
“He’s hoping that by stepping down, he’ll be able to put the whole issue behind him,” concluded the lawmaker.