Wittich to Get His Day in Court

By John S. Adams, Editor-in-Chief

After more than two years of allegations, counter-claims, investigations, and back-and-forth legal maneuverings, the high-profile campaign practices lawsuit between a Democratic appointee and a Republican state lawmaker will finally go before a jury on Monday. Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl first brought the lawsuit against Bozeman Rep. Art Wittich, the former Republican Senate majority leader, in January 2014.

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Supreme Court Denies Appeal in Corruption Lawsuit

By John S. Adams, Editor-in-Chief

The Montana Supreme Court in a 4-2 ruling rejected Republican Rep. Art Wittich’s appeal seeking a dismissal of a high-profile political corruption lawsuit. Wittich, who has been accused by the state’s top political enforcer of “quid pro quo corruption” for accepting campaign services he didn’t pay for in his 2010 state Senate race, argued in district court that the lawsuit against him was improper and should be thrown out.

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Twists Aplenty, Corruption Lawsuit Could Still be on Track

By John S. Adams, Editor-in-Chief

Rarely does a civil lawsuit garner the level of statewide attention as the ongoing legal battle between Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl and Republican State Rep. Art Wittich. The widespread interest in the high-profile showdown was highlighted this week by the many headlines that stemmed from pretrial legal wrangling in advance of a week-long jury trial scheduled for March 28 in Helena.

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Hearing Previews Upcoming Political Corruption Trial

By John S. Adams, Editor-in-Chief

District Judge Ray Dayton on Monday heard more than three hours of testimony in his Anaconda courtroom as he considers competing pre-trial arguments in a high-profile political corruption lawsuit. Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl is suing Republican state Rep. Art Wittich alleging Wittich illegally coordinated with third-party nonprofit political groups during his 2010 campaign for the Montana Senate.

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Embattled State Doctor Arrested on Drug Charges

By John S. Adams, Editor-in-Chief

A former state doctor who is facing an indefinite suspension of his medical license for alleged illegal drug use was arrested in Butte Friday night on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and possession of dangerous drugs. Mark Jay Catalanello was a staff physician at the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs and served as the medical director at the Montana Chemical Dependency Center in Butte until October, when the Montana Board of Medical Examiners temporarily suspended his medical license amid accusations that he was using illegal drugs.

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Back and forth motions hurl allegations in lead-up to Wittich corruption trial

By John S. Adams, Editor-in-Chief

With a trial date fast approaching, the two sides in a high-profile political corruption lawsuit are hurling sharply worded accusations of wrongdoing in recently filed court documents. Both sides are calling on the judge to sanction their opponent in conflicting legal filings that set a bitter tone for the courtroom showdown scheduled for March 28 in Helena.

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New judge assigned to political corruption lawsuit

(photo courtesy Thom Bridge/Independent Record)
By John S. Adams, Editor-in-Chief

The Helena district court judge Gov. Steve Bullock recently appointed to the bench has recused herself from presiding over a high-profile political corruption case involving one of Bullock’s staunchest critics. According to court records filed Wednesday, Judge Ray Dayton, of Anaconda, will take over for Judge DeeAnn Cooney, who recused herself from the case on Friday.

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