Federal judge who sealed Cebull file retires amid sexual misconduct allegations

By John S. Adams, Montana Free Press
The federal judge who ordered that the results of a lengthy misconduct investigation into a former Montana chief judge be sealed resigned Monday amid allegations of sexual misconduct. According the Washington Post:
Alex Kozinski, the powerful judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit who was facing a judicial investigation over allegations that he subjected 15 women to inappropriate sexual behavior, announced Monday that he would retire effective immediately.

Continue reading.

High Court upholds verdict in Wittich corruption case

The Montana Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed with a lower court’s finding that former Republican state lawmaker Art Wittich violated Montana’s campaign finance laws when he illegally coordinated with third-party political groups during his 2010 primary election campaign. In a unanimous 5-0 opinion written by Justice Beth Baker, the state Supreme Court concluded that former Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl properly investigated the case against Wittich, and they affirmed District Judge Ray Dayton’s decision to fine Wittich $68,232.58.

Continue reading.

JURY: WITTICH ILLEGALLY COORDINATED

By John S. Adams, Editor-in-Chief

HELENA —It took a jury of six men and six women four hours Friday to find Bozeman Republican lawmaker Art Wittich illegally coordinated with non-profit third-party political groups during his 2010 primary election campaign. Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl, the state elections enforcer who brought the civil lawsuit against Wittich for violations of campaign finances laws, told reporters after the trial that the jury’s decision will have lasting impacts on Montana elections.

Continue reading.

Testimony Winds Down in Corruption Trial

By John S. Adams, Editor-in-Chief

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.

Continue reading.

Wittich Corruption Trial Underway

By John S. Adams, Editor-in-Chief

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 campaign ethics chief, of violating state campaign finance laws.

Continue reading.