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Posted inPolitics

Judge denies Gianforte’s ‘executive privilege’ defense in record request lawsuit

A Helena judge has ordered Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte to release government records that spurred a prominent right to know lawsuit. The lawsuit was brought by Helena resident and Democratic political consultant Jayson O’Neill, who filed a request in May 2021 for agency bill monitoring forms, which contain communications between the governor’s office and state agency leaders regarding legislative bills expected to impact state government operations. In a Dec. 14 order, Lewis and Clark County District Court Judge Kathy Seeley directed Gianforte to provide the material O’Neill seeks to the court so it can assess which contents the state may properly withhold based on individual privacy concerns or attorney-client privilege.