The independent investigator who has accused Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin of violating state ethics laws is a major donor to the Democratic Party as well as a partner in a law firm that represented Barack Obama's presidential campaign.
Thomas Daniel was hired by the Alaska Personnel Board in late April to investigate several complaints against Palin, including one filed by an Alaska resident who claims the governor used her official position for personal gain by authorizing the creation of a trust to use as her legal defense fund.
In a July 14 report leaked to The Associated Press and major news organizations, Daniel accused Palin of drawing improper gifts and unwarranted benefits. His report recommended that Palin refuse to accept payment from the defense fund and settle the complaint to avoid a formal hearing before the board.