My enthrallment with Sarah Palin has shown an unusually short half-life, but even I have to lean toward the truth when a scumbag might be getting a bum rap.
Case in point: Eric Schmeltzer, a writer for The Huffington Post, unloaded both barrels at Palin and the town of Wasilla, AK, for defying a state law requiring local law enforcement agencies to pay for rape evidence kits for physical exams.
As Schmeltzer would have us see the situation:
“While the Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies have covered the cost of exams, which cost between $300 to $1,200 apiece, the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests.
“Wasilla Police Chief Charlie Fannon does not agree with the new legislation, saying the law will require the city and communities to come up with more funds to cover the costs of the forensic exams.”
What Smeltzer left out of his citings from The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman article of May 23, 2000, though, was:
“In the past weve charged the cost of exams to the victims insurance company when possible. I just dont want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer, Fannon said.
According to Fannon, the new law will cost the Wasilla Police Department approximately $5,000 to $14,000 a year to collect evidence for sexual assault cases.
Ultimately it is the criminal who should bear the burden of the added costs, Fannon said.
The forensic exam is just one part of the equation. Id like to see the courts make these people pay restitution for these things, Fannon said.
Fannon said he intends to include the cost of exams required to collect evidence in a restitution request as a part of a criminals sentencing.”
Now, this doesn’t make the Wasilla PD or Palin look particularly nice, since Fannon obviously has a problem paying for basic law enforcement forensics equipment. And, by implication, Palin didn’t seem to have a problem with Fannon’s stance on this particular issue. But Fannon is expressing a just another iteration in a growing opinion among law enforcement.
But, yeah, Wasilla officials from that period look like a collective schmuck.