Bullock, Montana Reach Deal Over Security Detail Payments
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has reached a deal with Attorney General Tim Fox to keep a Montana Highway Patrol security detail with him when he travels out of state to campaign for president.
Fox sent Bullock an email on May 31 saying the state troopers who make up the governor’s executive protection detail would stop traveling with him on business that is “entirely focused on supporting and advocating for your election to another public office,” Montana Public Radio reported .
Bullock has made repeated trips to Iowa, New York and elsewhere since announcing his candidacy in May for the Democratic nomination for president.
Bullock Chief of Staff Ali Bovingdon expressed concern in a response to Fox about how security changes would affect Bullock’s and his family’s safety.
The two offices agreed earlier this mont h to continue the security detail, and the governor’s campaign will reimburse the state for the detail’s incidental expenses, including travel, lodging and meals.
The highway patrol provides security to the governor on a full-time basis regardless of where he is or what he’s doing, according to the memorandum of understanding.
The governor’s office worked out the agreement, “even though it is not legally required by Montana law,” spokeswoman Marissa Perry said.
Last week, Bullock’s office asked Commissioner of Political Practices Jeff Mangan for an advisory opinion about the rules for the governor’s security detail.
The Montana Republican Party has filed an ethics complaint against the governor with Mangan’s office that accuses Bullock of using public resources to campaign for president.
Mangan said the complaint is under review.