Levi Johnston has quit the oil field job after allegations that the position was offered because of Sarah Palin’s pulling strings. Father Keith Jonhston says he’s the one who pulled strings.
The program that Johnston was in requires a high school diploma. That is something that the young father of Sarah Palin’s grandchild does not have.
This past fall the 18-year-old began working with the Milne Point oil field. He was an employee of ASRC Energy Services Inc., a major Slope contractor.
On Sunday Dan Fagan, an Anchorage radio talk show host, wrote a column in the Anchorage Daily News about how Johnston was in the program without his diploma.
On Monday Palin denied that she had any hand in getting Johnston the position. That is also the stand of Keith Johnston, Levi’s father. He said that his position as an ASRC construction engineer is how his son got in. Keith Johnston and Sarah Palin both say that Todd Palin, also an employee with Slope for BP played no part in getting the teen a job.
Because of the media attention the Johnston men decided that Levi would step down from his position and concentrate on his education. The elder Johnston admits that his son struggled in school and has not graduated from high school.
When Levi and Bristol Palin discovered they would soon be parents the father counseled his son to work on his GED and get a job. In early September Levi got a job as a roustabout on an ASRC project. That job ended. It is said that ASRC then offered him a choice of two other positions, one in Cook Inlet and the other through the electrical apprenticeship program at Milne Point oil field. Johnston took the gig at Milne Point in November and decided to work on obtaining his high school diploma rather than get a GED.
The Anchorage Daily News reports:
“You guys are watching him so tightly,” Johnston said, referring to the media. “He’s being treated different than an average 18-year-old kid. He has to do everything by the book now.”
He added: “Sarah had nothing to do with him getting hired on the Slope. If there was any help getting him on up there, it was because of my associations and no one else’s.”
Palin says the only help she gave Levi was a letter, one that she has written for other youths that asked her for one.
The June 23, 2008, letter for Levi says in part: “I have known Levi and his family for many years and am most impressed with Levi’s work ethic. Levi is organized, efficient, extremely competent, and will prove to be an excellent employee. Also, Levi’s physical strength and determination are assets that will be useful to your company.”
On Monday Fagan said that he’s not out to take potshots at the governor.
“I’m just doing my job,” he said.