Official Recommends Schweitzer Be Fined in Ethics Case

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – The official overseeing an ethics complaint against Gov. Brian Schweitzer says the governor appears to have violated state law by distributing a public service announcement after filing for re-election.

University of Montana law professor William Corbett was appointed the hearings examiner in the case. On Thursday, he recommended Schweitzer be found guilty of violating a state ethics law and fined $750.

Commissioner of Political Practices Dennis Unsworth will make the final ruling in the case, which was filed by the state Republican Party after the governor distributed a radio PSA shortly after filing for re-election.

Republicans are making a separate claim that the case is tainted because the governor’s office communicated with Unsworth about the ethics complaint outside of the hearing process.