Reversal: State Now Investigating Gallik

I first mentioned live on the air during our statewide radio talk show last week, but here are a couple reports that dive in a little deeper, as the office of Attorney General Tim Fox (R-MT) has now reversed course and will investigate claims against Dave Gallik.  Gallik is the former Commissioner of Political Practices. 

The Great Falls Tribune’s John Adams first had this post on Friday:

Attorney General Tim Fox’s office alerted a Missoula court Thursday that the state will intervene in a lawsuit against former Commissioner of Political Practices Dave Gallik.

Gallik resigned as the state’s top political and ethics watchdog in January 2012 after the Great Falls Tribune reported allegations made by Gallik’s former staff members that Gallik, an attorney, was conducting private law practice work out of his state office.

Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock, when he was still serving at attorney general, appointed Great Falls attorney Ward “Mick” Taleff to represent state in the case. Last November, Taleff argued on behalf of the state  that the case should be dismissed because the Montana Policy Institute, the plaintiff in the case, lacked standing to bring the lawsuit.

Montana Media Trackers has also been looking into the case.  Here’s an excerpt from their report:

“I’m happy to see the AG confirm the validity of our case and look forward to getting Montana’s taxpayers back what was taken from them,” Carl Graham, CEO of MPI, said in an e-mail to Media Trackers Montana.

In a telephone interview with Media Trackers Montana, Fox’s spokesman John Barnes stated that, given the seriousness of the charges and importance of the office of Commissioner of Political Practices, it was appropriate for the attorney general to handle the case.

Gallik is a former Democratic state legislator and was appointed to head the Montana Office Of Political Practices (OPP) by former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a fellow Democrat, in May of 2011. He resigned his post in January of 2012 after the Great Falls Tribune reported that OPP employees were alleging that Gallik did work for his private law practice on state time and with state resources. He has denied any wrongdoing.

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