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Senator: Governor, Commissioner Trying to Oust Him

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A Republican Senate leader is claiming the governor and the commissioner of political practices are conspiring to remove him from office.

Commissioner Jonathan Motl previously filed a civil action against Senate Majority Leader Art Wittich of Bozeman that said Wittich coordinated with and took illegal corporate contributions from a conservative group in the 2010 election campaign.

If a judge upholds Motl’s findings, Wittich could be removed from office and struck from the 2014 ballot.

Wittich filed a counterclaim in state court Thursday that says Motl’s goal since being appointed by Gov. Steve Bullock has been to remove Wittich from office.

He claims Bullock, Motl, Motl’s predecessor and another state senator broke election and ethics laws and should be found guilty of misconduct.

Neither Bullock nor Motl immediately responded to requests for comment.

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