A lawsuit seeks to keep Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl on the job until June 2019.

Gov. Steve Bullock appointed Motl in 2013 to serve until Jan. 1 2017, which is six years after the departure of the last commissioner to be confirmed by the state Senate.

Since his appointment and confirmation, Motl has wiped out the office's backlog of complaints and brought a high-profile corruption trial against Republican Rep. Art Wittich.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday argues Motl should have a full six-year term as commissioner and that Bullock made an error when he set Jan. 1 as the expiration of Motl's term.

The plaintiffs are Democratic Sen. Christine Kaufmann, Secretary of State Linda McCulloch, former Republican Rep. Jesse O'Hara, Al Smith of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association and a group called Montanans for Experienced Judges.


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