Schweitzer Sues Over Ethics Complaint

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Gov. Brian Schweitzer is suing to block an ongoing ethics complaint filed by the Republican Party.

The governor is disputing a finding made last year by the commissioner of political practices that Schweitzer violated state law by distributing a public service announcement after filing for re-election.

Commissioner Dennis Unsworth did not levy a fine, and was scheduling further hearings to establish the sanctions.

State law bans the use of state funds for PSAs featuring an officeholder who has stated his candidacy.

Schweitzer is asking a state judge to intervene and rule that the governor did not violate state law by recording the public-service announcement.

The Montana Republican Party says Schweitzer is trying to duck responsibility for his actions.