KGVO News received a report this week that Public Service Commissioner Roger Koopman has filed a lawsuit for $2.25 million with the State of Montana Department of Administration and the Public Service Commission.

Koopman wrote that ‘on Monday, December 28, I filed a Notice of Legal Claim with John Lewis at the Department of Administration (DOA), in connection with the year-long harmful and malicious acts against me, my wife and daughter, by several PSC commissioners and staff.’

Koopman and his family have retained the services of attorneys Chris Gallus of Helena and Milt Datsolpoulos of Missoula.

Gallus described the complaint.

“We have submitted a formal notice to the Montana Department of Administration to the director John Lewis advising the DOA and director Lewis that we have claims against the state of Montana that involve particular Public Service Commissioners, and some of the staff members,” said Gallus. “It involves invasion of privacy as well as some other claims in terms of retaliation, defamation and the like. It includes not only what was done to Commissioner Koopman, but Commissioner Koopman's wife Ann, and their daughter, Marianne, as well. They're all our clients and the amount of the notice of the claims against the state are total $2.25 million.”

Gallus described the contents of the filing by Koopman and his family.

“So, it’s a 16 page letter that states the claim, identifies the claims and identifies the parties,” he said. “In addition, there are a number of exhibits attached, such as timelines, two PSC internal investigations, a commissioned investigation and report from outside counsel, all that reach the same conclusions in our opinion, and that's a big part of what we're resting our case on.”

KGVO has reached out to John Lewis and the Department of Administration for a copy of the filings, which we will attach to this story upon receipt.

In addition, KGVO called and left messages for all four of the other Public Service Commissioners for their response to the lawsuit.

Gallus described what will happen now that the complaint has been officially filed with the Department of Administration and the Public Service Commission.

“The Department of Administration goes through a review process,” he said. “Now that they have our notice of claims they have 120 days to review, and my understanding is that it is also an opportunity to assess the claim, their impression of the claims viability, and to perhaps reach some sort of settlement prior to filing any litigation. If the period lapses and we're unable to reach a settlement, then we're permitted to file a civil complaint in the state District Court, which we fully intend to do.”

Koopman has been at odds with his fellow Public Service Commissioners for many years as the stories linked here can attest. One involves a press release that Koopman said was false, and the other, in Koopman’s view, taking the political culture at the PSC to task.

 

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