Gene Jarussi

Recent Posts

Jailed ex-lawmaker called prosecution ‘political game’

Prouse

The former state legislator who was jailed on Tuesday for contempt of court reportedly refused to cooperate with authorities regarding his involvement in a political corruption scandal, calling the court case against him “a political game.” Wesley Prouse, of Shepherd, who will turn 49 on Thursday, was in jail and could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but the Billings lawyer who prosecuted several Republican legislative candidates involved in the so-called dark-money cases gave an account of the events that landed Prouse in jail. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Lawyer faces sanctions for obstructing political probe

Jones

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Jake Eaton. A District Court judge has agreed to impose sanctions on a Billings lawyer accused of attempting to obstruct an investigation into a so-called dark money group by the state Commissioner of Political Practices. The lawyer, Emily Jones, was accused of trying to intimidate potential witnesses by claiming that they could get into legal trouble for disclosing information about a defunct political consulting firm owned by her husband, Jake Eaton, a former executive director of the Montana Republican Party. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Billings cops win wage suit, city told to pay $2.7 million

The city of Billings has been ordered to pay just under $2 million in back wages and penalties to 142 active-duty and retired police officers in a wage dispute going back to 2009. District Court Judge Brenda Gilbert of Livingston, in an order issued Thursday, said the city must also pay roughly $650,000 in attorneys’ fees and nearly $126,000 in incidental costs associated with the years-long lawsuit. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Ex-Laurel legislator settles corruption case, will pay fine

Kennedy

Former Montana House member Daniel Kennedy of Laurel has agreed to pay a $19,599 fine for accepting illegal campaign contributions during the Republican primary in 2010. In a settlement reached last Thursday and posted Tuesday on the Montana commissioner of political practices’ website, Kennedy said “I did not know at the time but now understand” that the package of campaign services he received came from the National Right to Work organization. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Shreds of hope on campaign finance laws

Last week I was feeling dispirited about the propaganda flowing into Montana by way of TV ads attacking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This week, I feel an acorn of hope. No, I still don’t know who has been buying those ads, other than the nonhuman face of Protect America’s Consumers. And the ads are still running in abundance, hour after hour, on cable news channels in a few targeted states, including Montana. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Wittich testifies for first time in political corruption trial

Wittich

HELENA — State Rep. Art Wittich, the man accused of accepting illegal in-kind contributions and services from conservative nonprofit groups during his 2010 Senate race, took the witness stand in his own defense Thursday in Lewis and Clark County District Court. Wittich is on trial in a civil lawsuit brought by Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl, who has accused the Bozeman Republican of illegally coordinating with groups funded by the anti-union National Right to Work Committee. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

In Wittich trial, campaign’s inner workings are detailed

Rhoades

HELENA — Jurors heard from two former National Right to Work Committee staffers Tuesday as testimony resumed on day two of state Rep. Art Wittich’s campaign practice lawsuit. Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl is suing the Bozeman Republican, alleging Wittich illegally benefited from coordinated corporate campaign contributions during his 2010 GOP primary race for the Montana Senate. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Right-to-work ex-staffer testifies as Wittich trial begins

Lucinda

HELENA — A highly anticipated civil trial to determine whether Bozeman Republican Rep. Art Wittich violated campaign practice laws during his 2010 primary campaign got underway in Helena on Monday. Wittich, the former Republican Senate majority leader and conservative stalwart in the state House, has been accused by, Jonathan Motl, Montana’s top campaign ethics chief, of violating state campaign finance laws. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,