Sunday, September 18, 2011

"The Rogue" by Joe McGinniss reveals that Chuck Heath protested against dismissal of school principal Ray Carter who protected pedophile teacher

Chuck Heath Sr.: Coldest state, "hottest" Governor, very bad judgements

By Patrick and Kathleen

"The Rogue", the new Sarah Palin biography by Joe McGinniss hasn't been published yet, but the moment has already come to report in detail about a particularly damning allegation that Joe McGinniss deals with in his book. This report concerns the actions of Sarah Palin's father Chuck Heath, who in the past fiercely protested against the dismissal of Iditarod school principal Raymond Carter, who was fired in 1983 because he all but ignored serious allegations of child abuse against music teacher George Koenig. According to the findings of Joe McGinniss, Chuck Heath and his friends "created a lynch-mob atmosphere" against critics and investigators back then in order to reinstate Raymond Carter, but were not successful in the end.

Without knowing what exactly Joe has written in his book, it's already possible from material gathered through internet research to give a very detailed picture of the events and of the shocking behaviour of Chuck Heath Sr., Sarah Palin's father. Chuck publicly defended the inexcusable actions of former Alaska elementary school principal Raymond Carter, who was Chuck's friend from their High School days as teenagers in Sandpoint, Idaho.

Furthermore, we can establish that the Palins and the family of Raymond Carter appear to be extremely closely connected - for example through a rather mysterious trust fund, and even Sarah Palin herself is not shy to mention the Carter family several times in her autobiography from 2009, "Going Rogue."

We were originally alerted to the story already a few days ago, through a post at the right-wing "SayAnythingBlog", which was written by a person called Rob Port. His article provides valuable background information about the events which happened a long time ago, mainly in 1983 and 1984, although his conclusions are deeply flawed. Rob Port also presents a fascinating email exchange he had with Joe McGinniss in October 2010.

I have my own history with Mr. McGinnis. I have no idea if this actually made it into the book, but McGinnis contacted me in 2010 while he was trying to dig up dirt on Sarah Palin’s father Chuck Heath. Back in the 1980′s Heath was a teacher/coach in the Wasilla public school system at the same time a teacher by the name of Walter Koenig was arrested for molesting several girls, one of them my sister. The revelation of Koenig’s crimes came at the time that public schools in Alaska were being rocked with revelation after revelation of molestation.

My father, an Alaska State Trooper at the time, investigated these cases though once it became clear that my sister was involved in Koenig’s case he handed it off to another investigator.

Regardless, Koenig confessed his crimes and was convicted. At the time, though, there was a scandal in the community over the firing of a school principal to whom students had complained about Koenig. The principal, who later regretted his decision for obvious reasons, didn’t take their complaints seriously. At the time there were no mandatory reporting laws in Alaska requiring teachers, etc. to report complaints of abuse to law enforcement. My father investigated the matter and ultimately found that no laws had been broken.

Regardless, the school superintendent still chose to fire the principal. This caused some uproar in the community as some, including Sarah Palin’s father Chuck Heath, felt that while the principal made a mistake it shouldn’t cost him his career. The controversy escalated to the point where the superintendent reported having his tires slashed, though ultimately after my father investigated that incident it turned out that the superintendent had slashed his own tires so he could get new winter tires at the expense of his insurance company (my father arrested him for the crime).

McGinniss’ angle was to attempt to make Chuck Heath out to be some sort of apologist for a sex predator. That wasn’t the case at all. Heath simply felt that the decision to fire the principal was wrong. A debatable position (my family certainly disagreed), but hardly one that reflects on Heath’s character. Indeed, my family and the Heaths/Palins remain friends to this day.

Rob Ports father Rollie Port is not of interest for us - what we are interested in is the following: What exactly were the actions of Raymond Carter, and what is Chuck Heath's relationship to Raymond? In addition, we wanted to know which crimes were committed by George Koenig in particular.

Through archived documents on the internet it appears that we found sufficient answers to all these questions, and the details are highly disturbing in many respects.

Let's first take a look at the email exchange with Joe McGinniss that Rob Port published together with his post:

Excerpt from Joe's second email to Rob Port:

Joe email to Rob Port

In the second email to Rob, Joe explained that he got to know from other sources that Chuck Heath together with another person called Jay Smith "created a lynch mob mentality about a horrific crime that should have been handled with great sensitivity."

In contrast, Rob Port wants us to believe in his blog post that the actions of Chuck Heath, as well as the actions of Raymond Carter, were no big deal. The school principal Carter "later regretted his decisions for obvious reasons", and "no laws had been broken." Chuck Heath's involvement was "a debatable position", but "hardly one that reflects on Heath’s character."

However, we discovered that old news reports strongly contradict essential parts of this "nothing-to-see-here" assessment which is provided by Rob Port in his post, and we also discovered that Chuck Heath has a very close relationship to Raymond Carter and his family. The details of this relationship also raise serious questions.

(On a side note, Rob Port expressed his shock and disgust in an earlier post from 2009 about the fact that due to a decision by the Alaska Supreme Court from July 25, 2008, at a time when Sarah Palin was Governor, all Alaskan sex offenders who committed their crimes before August 10, 1994, no longer needed to be tracked - which included George Koenig, who in 1983 also abused Rob Port's sister.)

First, let's focus on a detail that Rob Port doesn't tell his readers about: Chuck Heath Sr. and Raymond Carter are childhood friends - they attended High School together in Sandpoint, Idaho. Through internet research, Kathleen found a previously unknown picture of Chuck Heath, taken in 1955, showing him as a member of the "Bulldogs" football team. Sitting together with him in the first row: "Ray Carter."

The picture was published apparently in a yearbook - download the PDF with the pages.


Chuck and Raymond - football picture - LARGE

CHUCK football 1955
Chuck Heath

RAY CARTER football 1955
Ray Carter

Is this really the Raymond Carter who was the principal of Iditarod Elementary School in 1984?

Yes, it is him.

We got the first clue from an article in the "Frontiersman" from 2010, in which they wrote:

WASILLA — When you’ve lived in the same spot for 41 years, you tend to get a little attached.

That’s why it would take a nice chunk of change to convince Ray Carter to sell his 8.36 acres across from Iditarod Elementary School for a new Wasilla public library.

Although the property just 600 feet off Wasilla-Fishhook Road has an assessed value of $407,900, Carter said he’d need about $1.2 million to give it up to the city.

“Other people have wanted to buy my land over the years, usually for commercial projects, but when I tell them what it would cost, I usually don’t hear from them again,” Carter, a 72-year-old retired school teacher, said Monday.


Carter, who first moved to Alaska from Idaho with his wife in 1963 to teach in the Native village of Huslia, said that if he does end up selling his property for a new library he might end up going back to Idaho or possibly only as far as Anchorage.

He moved from Idaho to Alaska, and he was 72 years old in 2010 - therefore, the class of 1955 fits perfectly.

Any remaining doubt is removed by Sarah Palin's own descriptions in "Going Rogue" - even without an index, the relevant parts of the book are easy to find, thanks to Kindle:

CARTER - Going Rogue excerpt

Ray Carter was, according to Sarah Palin, the "Idaho buddy" of her father Chuck. Which actually seems to be one of the very few accurate statements which Sarah Palin makes in "Going Rogue." Yes, they apparently were buddies, and even played in the same football team at High School together. So they go back a very long way. Ray Carter then moved to Alaska in 1963, followed by Chuck Heath and his family in 1964.

However, that's not everything which Sarah Palin has to say in "Going Rogue" about the Carter family. There is more:

CARTER - Going Rogue excerpt 3

CARTER - Going Rogue excerpt 2

The Carter family "babysat Track and Bristol", and unnamed "childhood friends" of the Carter family were together with Sarah Palin at university in Idaho, according to Sarah.

With this strong connection between Chuck Heath and Ray Carter firmly established (there is more, which I will explain below) , let's turn out attention to what Ray Carter - and George Koenig - actually did in 1983 and 1984. What happened? What were the details?

Fortunately, detailed reports of the events can be found in old news articles by the "Anchorage Daily News" from 1984, which are available online.

First, we have a detailed report from January 25, 1984 (second page: HERE) by in Anchorage Daily News, reporting about the fact that Ray Carter appealed against his dismissal as principal of Iditarod Elementary School, as position he held since 1978.

The article in the Anchorage Daily News contains a summary of the charges against Carter - which are not only inexcusable and indefensible, but also simply shocking:

CARTER ADN JAN 1984 - excerpt 1

CARTER ADN JAN 1984 - excerpt 2

CARTER ADN JAN 1984 - excerpt 3

CARTER ADN JAN 1984 - excerpt 4

CARTER ADN JAN 1984 - excerpt 5

"The troopers asked to interview you and you refused, stating you were busy. You then went to a basketball game."

In short: According to this report, Ray Carter couldn't have cared less about the serious allegations and completely ignored them.

In addition, we found a report by the Anchorage Daily News from May 11, 1984 (second page: HERE). Ray Carter testified at his appeal hearing against his dismissal, and it became clear that his version and the version of some of the parents did not match at all:

CARTER ADN MAY 1984 - excerpt 1

CARTER ADN MAY 1984 - excerpt 2

CARTER ADN MAY 1984 - excerpt 3

CARTER ADN MAY 1984 - excerpt 4

CARTER ADN MAY 1984 - excerpt 5

Trooper Douglas Huntsman testified that "he felt Carter was being uncooperative when he was asked to give police names of children the evening of Jan. 6. Massie also testified that Carter acted as if 'there were no urgency to get to the bottom of this.'"

This was the man that Chuck Heath defended, and not only that, but according to Joe McGinniss in the email exchange with Rob Port even "created a lynch mob mentality."

Because Ray Carter was Chuck's close friend, as the only apparent reason.

If these reports already shocking, the complete circumstances of the events appear even more shocking if we look at the details of the crimes which were committed by George Koenig. We get to know the details of the crime through a judgement by the Court of Appeals of Alaska from 1985.

According to Ray Carter, as quoted in 1984 by the Anchorage Daily News, the actions by George Koenig were about "kissing" the girls and "holding them tight." That's not what the Alaska Court of Appeal said in 1985:

George R. Koenig was thirty-three years of age at the time of his offenses. He has a master's degree in philosophy and was the music and language teacher at a Wasilla grammar school. Koenig was initially charged with sixteen counts of sexual abuse and sexual assault involving eight victims: S.L.F. (age nine); K.L.M. (age nine); M.A.S. (age twelve); D.M.I. (age eight); J.L.S. (age nine); G.L.H. (age eleven); E.E. (age eight); and H.D.K. (age eight). As part of a plea agreement, Koenig entered a plea of nolo contendere to three charges, and the state dismissed the other thirteen with the understanding that it could bring out evidence regarding all sixteen offenses at sentencing. Koenig was therefore convicted of one count of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree, an unclassified felony, AS 11.42.434(a)(1), based upon digital penetration of H.D.K., and two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, a class B felony, AS 11.41.436(a)(2), based upon, respectively, the touching of K.L.M.'s vagina and the touching of E.E.'s breasts. Koenig was sentenced to twenty years with ten suspended on the first-degree sexual abuse conviction, and ten years with five suspended on each of the second-degree sexual abuse convictions. All three sentences were made consecutive, so that Koenig received a total sentence of forty years with twenty years suspended.


Koenig's appellate briefing was directed at establishing that his individual sentences were excessive. Since this issue will arise on remand and would be particularly significant if Judge Hanson should again determine that consecutive sentences were appropriate, we address a few remarks to his case. First of all, we agree with Judge Hanson that Koenig's case was, to a certain extent, aggravated. As Judge Hanson pointed out, the victims in this case were eight and nine years of age. See AS 12.55.155(c)(5) (the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the victim of the offense was particularly vulnerable or incapable of resistance due to extreme youth). While the elements of AS 11.41.434(a)(1) and AS 11.41.436 (a)(2) require age disparity between victim and assailant, we agree with Judge Hanson that the extreme youth of these children meets the test for the aggravating factor. By the same token, Koenig's status as a public school teacher, and the position of authority it gave him over his victims, serves to aggravate this case. See Goulden v. State, 656 P.2d 1218, 1222 (Alaska App. 1983); see also former AS 11.41.410(a)(4)(A). Finally, Koenig was convicted of offenses involving multiple victims, and the trial court also properly considered, pursuant to the plea agreement reached between the parties, uncharged offenses verified in the record. Taking all of these factors together, we conclude that Koenig was properly given an aggravated sentence.

In reaching this Conclusion, we stress, however, that proof of aggravating factors by clear and convincing evidence, while a necessary condition for an aggravated sentence, is not sufficient for that purpose. Ultimately the trial court must consider the totality of the defendant's conduct in the light of his past record and future prospects in determining an appropriate sentence. In this regard, the overwhelming majority of cases involving sexual abuse of minors that we have reviewed, regardless of whether that abuse takes the form of sexual contact or sexual penetration, have involved people in positions of authority over the minor, e.g., teachers, parents, babysitters, et cetera, and children of extreme youth. While this case is aggravated, it is not sufficiently aggravated to warrant a maximum sentence or sentences.


On remand, Koenig's sentence, whether involving concurrent or consecutive increments, should not exceed twenty years with five years suspended.

So it's a fact that George Koenig received a very long jail sentence, and that his crimes were very serious. UPDATE: He finally received a jail-sentence of 15 years with a subsequent probationary period of 5 years.

Ray Carter, on the other hand, closed his eyes when the parents told him about the allegations, for whatever reasons. And Chuck Heath later felt compelled to whip up the "mob" for his friend. A member of the future American "first family?" Silly thought, I know. But John McCain and others shook his hand and apparently believe that Chuck Heath Sr. is some kind of great American, just as his (in)famous daughter Sarah.

This could have been the full story, but there is another chapter, and this one is rather mysterious. Our reader BanditBasheert alerted Kathleen and me earlier today about an item which was posted at the beginning of September 2008 on Democratic Underground. Already back then, a very observant commenter posted an extensive item about a mysterious trust fund that connects the Palins with the family of Ray Carter, and at the end, asked the question: "So yeah...who the fuck is this guy? What's the connection? Please help me, DUers!"

Whereas this question has been answered above, it remains unclear what the purpose and background of these transactions are. Let's take a look at the relevant entries, from 1994 and 1996:

Recorders office 2

So what exactly does this all mean? Trying to find an answer, I discovered that this topic was already discussed in several comments by readers on various blogs in 2009 - for example at Palingates and at Mudflats.

The reader "onejrkitty", who is from Alaska, commented back then at Palingates:

There was a story recalled by a poster on this blog under the article about Palin down below. The Raymond Carver Trust (sic) was manipulated so that the Palin's could get a mortgage and then $140,000 of the trust was turned over to Chuck Heath, Palin's dad. This provided a way for CH to just "forgive" the Palin's for paying it back. This is a summary of that post; better to read it yourself.

I have googled to death Raymond/Kristine Carter, Amy L. Carter etc and can find no connection to who may have been a beneficiary of that trust.

THAT person would certainly have a gripe.

The reader "sauerkraut" commented at Mudflats:

It appears that the Palins borrowed the money from a living trust, that her parents have majority control of AND that was created approximatley 2 weeks before they borrowed the money.

This “iceberg” threat is about the Palins and Heaths embezzling from with a trust fund that was federally guaranteed. That the federal government agencies are looking (obligated to) into this wrong doing, because of the guarantee. And that the IRS is involved in this too.

That part I got. Private transaction wherein Palin “borrowed” money. Did Palin not pay back the borrowed money? I don’t see embezzlement under the scenario wherein Palin borrowed money (presumably it’s a loan extended by the Carter’s).

I can see where the IRS might have raised an eyebrow if Palin did not pay back the money. Or if they paid no interest on the “borrowed” money (which the IRS views as an interest-free loan).

If the money was not paid back, and the value of the “borrowed” money never declared on a 1040, then there’s a problem as the IRS tends to view these types of transactions as involving undeclared income. Oops. Still gotta pay taxes on undeclared income!

If no interest was paid on the “borrowed” money, then there’s also a problem here as the IRS tends to view the unpaid interest on no-interest loans as… income. If that income was not included on the 1040, then there’s yet another instance of undeclared income. Still gotta pay taxes on undeclared income!

But that’s all conjecture as we do not know the nature or terms of the transaction(s) that you listed. Did the Carter’s actually loan money to Palin? Did the Carter’s expect to be paid a certain amount of interest? If there was interest, did the Carter’s declare that on their 1040? Did the Carter’s provide the appropriate IRS 1099 interest form to Palin? Has any of this shown up on tax returns released by Palin?

There are other pertinent questions, but those are where we ought to start.

Oh, and here’s a kicker… 1994? Are any claims by any of the parties (Palin, Carter, IRS?) barred by applicable statute of limitations? Has the bell tolled on any possible enforcement action?

So what could be behind all this? We don't know for certain right now. I wonder whether Joe McGinniss included this topic in his book. I am of course incredibly curious to know what Joe has to say in general to the whole "Carter issue" in "The Rogue." Maybe we will find more possible answers.

I hope you enjoyed this post, despite of the sad details, I certainly did. The facts are against Sarah Palin and her family - always have been, always will be. Instead of criticizing the book by Joe McGinniss, as it happened for example in a review by the New York Times, progressives, liberals and moderates should first take a close look at the details before making premature judgements. There is very important information included in his book, and as we could show in our post as well, it's about hard and very inconvenient facts, not about meaningless gossip.

The Palins are not a family which belong in the White House. They are ruled by "mobster mentality", as has been proved in several other incidents in the past, and they have to be exposed, because far too many people in America still believe that this is a wonderful, admirable family which could make a great "first family." Nothing could be further from the truth.


Please re-tweet:!/politicalgates/status/115449991732019201

McGinniss addresses Heath's role in inciting people in the wake of the discovery of Koenig's crimes, his forlorn defense of Carter and the weirdness of that time.

Judy and I moved to the Valley from Whittier just before all this started coming down. McGinniss' book doesn't name then-school district superintendant Gordon Tope directly, nor does it get into the detail you have here. Good job, by the way.

But McGinniss places these events into the context of how polarizing, irrational and just plain insidious the personality of Chuck Heath could be, and shows how that fit into the MO of the Heath-Palin clan over the years. The book is a helluva read, Patrick.


Our reader "FormerRepublican" made some very important finds. First, there is an article by the Anchorage Daily News from May 1987, which deals with the details of the tire-slashing incident concerning Mat-Su Superintendent Gordon Tope, who was fired by the Mat-Su district because he admitted to have slashed his tires himself. In contrast to the actions of the Mat-Su district, the Skagway district still had full confidence in Tope and hired him after the Koenig-controversy as their Superintendent:

ADN article 1987 Gordon Tope

The article also contains the surprising information that Ray Carter was reinstated as a correspondence teacher after the Koenig-affair. Why as a correspondence teacher? Were there any specific reasons? Was it not desirable any more that he had direct contact to students?

ADN article 1987 Gordon Tope 2

It is obvious from the article that Gordon Tope in the end he was not blamed for any serious wrongdoing, and that he was regarded by some as a victim of the whole scandal:

ADN article 1987 Gordon Tope 3

Our reader "FormerRepublican" then found another revealing and important ADN-article from January 2006. This article at first discusses a separate case of alleged sexual abuse - and it is more than obvious that serious problems still existed in the Mat-Su district as far as the reporting of potential cases of sexual abuse were concerned:

Alaska State Troopers and Matanuska-Susitna School District officials have agreed to discuss the contention that the district has inadvertently impeded criminal investigations of sexual harassment cases.

"There are problems and we're trying to sort through them," said Trooper Sgt. Rollie Port, head of the troopers General Investigative Unit in Palmer. "But we're not head to head with the school district... We're meeting with them in a very positive light."

Port was quoted in a Valley newspaper story last week saying that the district's own personnel investigations have hampered at least two trooper investigations in the past three years, including that of a former swim coach currently accused of sexually harassing student and employee lifeguards.

In the article, printed in the Jan. 3 Frontiersman, Port said the swim coach's own investigator had time to interview witnesses before troopers were notified, because the school district waited a week before reporting the case.

While this concerns an unrelated case of potential sexual abuse, the article in the ADN then mentions at the end the old Koenig-case, and contains a real bombshell:

In another instance, Port told the Frontiersman that the 1983 case against former Iditarod Elementary School band director George Koenig was made more difficult because the district had already alerted Koenig that the police were on their way. Koenig has since been sentenced to 20 years in prison for child sexual abuse.

"The (Mat-Su) district had already alerted Koenig
that the police were on their way."

Who alerted them? Was it Ray Carter? Wasn't he the one who was contacted by the investigators in the first place? This adds another terrible detail to the Koenig-scandal, and raises more serious questions about the conduct of Ray Carter and his school district - as well as the subsequent actions by Chuck Heath. There appeared to exist a culture of repeatedly trying to cover up cases of child-abuse in the Mat-Su school district, and a culture of protecting the perpetrators. Chuck Heath was, according to Joe McGinniss in his email exchange with Rob Port, instrumental in creating huge pressure on those people "who were only trying to protect the children of the district."

No comments:

Post a Comment