Montana's Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl has targeted another conservative political figure for violating public disclosure laws.

photo from Gary Marbut

In this instance, Motl said the Montana Shooting Sports Association and its President, Gary Marbut violated public disclosure law when a submitted form failed to include a list of candidates MSSA would support in the 2014 Primary Election.

"Commissioner Motl issued his decision in Roberts v MSSA, a complaint about the Montana Shooting Sports Association political committee," Marbut said. "I have studied that, and found that Commissioner Motl found two deficiencies with MSSA activities. Both of those deficiencies were based on mistakes made by the commissioner and his office. I think that's highly inappropriate. It's also pretty inappropriate that in his dealings with this whole case, he published on his website the original complaint and his decision, but although I sent him a  careful response to the initial complaint, he never bothered to post that on his website, so that seems pretty one-sided to me."

Marbut said he has directed several questions to the commissioner, and Marbut says the ball is in his court now.

"He did shoot me an email on Friday saying he had handed off to Jamie McNaughten who is the other lawyer in his office," Marbut continued. "He also stated that McNaughten was ion vacation and wouldn't be back for awhile. My biggest question is what will the commissioner do to recover from that? Will he recant and revise his decision, or will he try and bull through on a false set of facts that his decision was based on."

Marbut said Motl could hand the case off to Lewis and Clark County Attorney Leo Gallagher.

"Mr. Gallagher could bring a prosecution," Marbut said. "However, the prosecution wouldn't get very far given the facts of the case."


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