JUNEAU, Alaska >> An activist is suing Sarah Palin for at least $100,000, claiming she undertook a campaign to “punish, embarrass, discredit and silence” him while she was Alaska’s governor.
The lawsuit was filed in state court by Chip Thoma and first reported by TMZ.com.
Palin’s attorney, John Tiemessen, called the complaint frivolous and said it was filed “merely for the purpose of harassment.”
“The governor’s actions and statements regarding this matter are a matter of public record and governed by the long standing doctrine of executive immunity from tort claims,” he said in an email late Friday. “Like all of the other harassing complaints against the governor, we anticipate that Mr. Thoma’s will be quickly and summarily dismissed.”
The matter dates to 2009, after Palin returned to Juneau and the governor’s office from her failed vice presidential bid.
Thoma’s attorney, James McGowan, said Thoma complained about tour bus traffic on the narrow, windy streets around the governor’s mansion. McGowan said Thoma, whom he described as a “Palin fan” at the time, sent tour operators fliers to try to encourage them to change the routes. He said Thoma also helped neighbors create yard signs against what Thoma considered the noise, pollution and congestion caused by the buses.
McGowan said Palin twisted Thoma’s actions to make it seem like he had engaged in “some unsavory and lunatic” campaign against the Palins.
The complaint is based in part on a leaked draft manuscript of an aide of Palin’s at that time.