Campaign Regulator Urges Judge to Bar Lawmaker From Office
A lawyer for the state is asking a judge to fine and remove from office a Bozeman legislator whom he says committed the most serious violation of campaign laws in Montana history.
Special Attorney General Gene Jarussi said in a court filing Friday that District Judge Ray Dayton should fine Republican Rep. Art Wittich $144,900. Jarussi says Dayton should remove Wittich from office and bar him from running again until he pays the fine and corrects his campaign finance reports.
A jury in April found that Wittich took $19,599 in illegal and unreported corporate contributions from an anti-union organization during his 2010 campaign for state Senate.
Wittich attorney Quentin Rhoades says he will argue that Wittich's actions were protected by the First Amendment.
Dayton is expected to decide on the penalties on June 17.