Gov. Sarah Palin and her staff worked quickly behind the scenes to fend off criticism of her firing of the state police chief, as she faced an investigation over allegations that she took the action when he failed to fire her estranged brother-in-law.

A Palin aide kept the governor informed on her efforts to get friends to write letters to Alaska newspapers in support of Palin’s choice for a new state police chief.

Fired Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan said he was fired after Palin and her aides repeatedly applied pressure on him to dismiss Palin’s brother-in-law, a state trooper who had been engaged in a bitter divorce and custody dispute with Palin’s sister.

“We’re rallying the troops for letters re dps,” Palin aide Ivy Frye told Palin on July 26, 2008, noting that one supporter’s letter was set to run that weekend.

Frye added: “Support is pouring in. More letters on deck.”

Palin wrote back that the local paper had already run that supporter’s letter in favor of her new state police chief, Charles Kopp, and suggested the letters should avoid duplicating the same theme.

“Yes, make sure are no dups if letter goes out,” Palin wrote after receiving a copy of another supporter’s letter.

Frye explained she also planned to reach out to Kristan Cole, a person connected to beauty pageant networks,

“I’ll touch base with her today and Frank too to make sure we’re sending variations and not duplicates of this letter,” Frye wrote.

A supporter of Palin’s who had worked with disabled children, Debbie Joslin, wrote Palin a personal e-mail saying the governor should admit if she fired Monegan for personal reasons, and her supporters would be more than willing to back her if she reported this herself.

“IF you did fire WM in part or in whole because of the brother-in-law, just admit it and make it right,” she wrote. “People will forgive you, especially if you admit you made a mistake quicker than an investigation shows the same without your admission.”

Palin wrote back that she hoped Joslin would trust her “that I’d be the first to admit if I made a mistake.”

“Replacing him had absolutely nothing to do with the problems from 2005 with a former brother-in-law,” she wrote, saying she need a more active, aggressive state police chief to address “horrendous activities in rural Alaska.” “Thanks and hope you have a great Sunday.”