Montana to Pay Lawmaker $75K in Ethics Complaint Lawsuit
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The state of Montana has agreed to pay House Majority Leader Brad Tschida nearly $75,000 in a lawsuit he filed to strike down a law keeping ethics complaints confidential.
An order filed Monday by U.S. District Judge Brian Morris approves the deal between the Republican legislator and the state Office of the Commissioner of Political Practices and permanently bars the state from enforcing the law.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in May that the Montana law violated the First Amendment by banning any mention of an ethics complaints before the commissioner issues a ruling.
Tschida filed the lawsuit after then-Commissioner Jonathan Motl criticized him for revealing that he’d filed an ethics complaint against Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock shortly before the 2016 election.
The ethics complaint was dismissed.