| ANCHORAGE, Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska Oct 2 Former vice
presidential candidate Sarah Palin is not shy about voicing her
opinions to national audiences, headlining big-ticket political
events and exposing her family and personal life on reality TV.
But so far the former Alaska governor and her husband Todd
Palin have not come forward to claim their share of a settlement
fund established for victims of the 1989 Exxon Valdez
The pair was among the nearly 1,000 plaintiffs who have not
claimed their payouts on a list released last week by managers
of the settlement fund.
Some on the list are dead. Some are missing. But some, said
the attorney managing the payouts, are simply lacking paperwork
needed to process their payments.
The latter could include the famous as well as the obscure,
said Lynn Sarko, the Seattle attorney administering the Exxon
Qualified Settlement Fund.
"If Barack Obama were on the list, I know where he is, but
I don't necessarily have all of his paperwork," Sarko said on
Sarko said he was not permitted to give specific
information about the Palins' claims but he confirmed that most
people were generally owed hundreds of dollars.
As the reality TV show "Sarah Palin's Alaska" documented,
the Palins fish commercially in southwestern Alaska's Bristol
Bay, far from the Prince William Sound and Gulf of Alaska sites
fouled with oil.
Such fishermen are members of the "unoiled fisheries"
classes and are entitled to shares of spill funds, based on a
finding that fears of oil tainting had depressed Alaska salmon
prices in general, Sarko said.
"There was a tremendous price drop, especially in southeast
Alaska," he said, adding that of the $1 billion settlement Exxon
paid to private plaintiffs in compensation, punitive fines and
interest, only about $1 million is left to be doled out.
An Alaska-based lawyer who represents the Palins in other
matters, John Tiemessen, said he was not involved in the case
and did not know the status of the claims.
Any remaining unclaimed payments will eventually revert to
the plaintiffs' last known home states and be put into
government unclaimed-asset funds, he said.