Dave Parker of the Anchorage Police returned the phone call I placed yesterday to Mr. Mew, the Police Chief. Officer Parker confirmed that he is the person responsible for the Press Release issued to the National Enquirer. He explained that issuing press releases is part of his job as the “Public Information Officer.” He explained that the police department has a “Web Master” who determines the content of the web site. Mr. Parker never sent the National Enquirer Press Release to the Web Master for her consideration to include in the public web site.
Officer Parker indicated that after the National Enquirer story involving Todd Palin and Shailey Tripp was published, the Anchorage Police Department was contacted by the attorney for Sarah Palin who he believes was Thomas Van Flein. The attorney asked them to review their records, and if there was not a mention of Todd Palin’s name, to then issue a press release accordingly. This task was given to Dave Parker as the Public Information Officer.
Before issuing the press release Dave Parker reviewed the records regarding the arrest that were readily available to him on his computer. He spoke to Sergeant Cathy Lacy, and the Vice Squad. He also reviewed the paperwork that he perceived was the paperwork seized. He was not aware of, and did not review, “office calendars” but he did review “loose leaf” notebooks that contained client names and numbers. He thought that computers and cell phones were seized, but made no attempt to review any information on any of them. Thus if Todd Palin’s name or phone number appeared on the computer or the cell phones, he would not know. He didn’t mention any photography in the information reviewed. Of course if pages had been removed from the “loose leaf” notebooks, he would have no way of knowing about that.
There seemed to be some confusion about the case number on the computer he was using, and indicated he would need to do further checking and would call me back. He did call back and confirmed that there is a police number and a court case number.
Officer Parker confirmed that the Officer Billiet was the officer who had spoken with William Fortier when the initial call was made regarding possible prostitution activities. Dave Parker did not know about Officer Billiet’s involvement or his tip from William Fortier. Thus Dave Parker confirmed that he did not have all the information when he prepared the press release for the National Enquirer. Officer Parker confirmed that no attempt was made by him, and to his knowledge, by anyone with the Anchorage Police Department, to check the computer records or cell phone records of either Kashawn Thomas or Shailey Tripp. Thus he confirmed that the names of many people could be on the computer or cell phones seized, but he would not know about that. Thus if Todd Palin’s name appeared on the cell phone or lap top of Shailey Tripp, Officer Parker was not in a position to confirm or deny that. He did say that “Rabid” anti-Palin people might try to “conjur” something up. He did confirm that the cell phones and computer would be returned when both cases are closed, and that there would be no reason for any phone numbers or names to have been deleted.
In conclusion, the Press Release issued by the APD was inaccurate and misleading. The “evidence” seized, and “examined” by the APD did include cell phones and computers, but they were not “examined” to determine if the name of Todd Palin appeared on them. There WAS a call place to the Anchorage Police Department that ultimately led to the arrest of Shailey Tripp and Kashawn Thomas. Officer Parker just didn’t have all the information available at the time he prepared and issued the press release to the National Enquirer.
I appreciate the call from Officer Parker, and his willingness to answer questions.