February 24, 2012 / 2:21 AM / in 6 years

Alaska officials release final batch of Palin emails

ANCHORAGE (Reuters) - Alaska officials on Thursday released the second and final batch of email correspondence from private accounts of Gov. Sarah Palin that she used to conduct state business.

The emails, from Palin’s final 10 months in office, were the subject of public-records requests filed by numerous news organizations and some Alaska citizens.

The records requests date back to 2008, when Palin was chosen as his vice-presidential running mate by Republican John McCain.

The public-records requests resulted in an earlier release, last June, of more than 24,000 pages of emails covering Palin’s first 22 months in office. However, messages after September of 2008 were not released.

Thursday’s release concerned mostly records from after the 2008 election until Palin left office after abruptly resigning.

The second batch of emails was released after the review of 18,692 total records, including attachments, said Sharon Leighow, spokeswoman for Gov. Sean Parnell, Palin’s successor.

Of that, 17,736 records - about 95 percent - were released after legal reviews were completed, Leighow said. Seventy-three percent of the records were released without redactions, she said.

In all, the newly released records totaled 34,820 pages, she said. There were 956 records withheld entirely, totaling 1,983 pages, she said.

While the last release of Palin e-mails in June drew widespread media coverage, the release on Thursday attracted less attention.

On Wednesday, the Alaska Department of Law said that a former Palin aide who wrote an unflattering memoir of his time in her inner circle paid an $11,900 fine for using confidential state emails without permission.

The aide, Frank Bailey, quoted the ex-governor’s emails liberally in his 2011 book, “Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin,” which chronicled how he grew disenchanted with a rising political star he once admired.

Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Peter Bohan

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