Senator: Campaign Regulator’s Decisions Will Be Challenged

A judge nullified term's ending date until a decision is made in a lawsuit

By Molly Priddy

HELENA — A Montana senator says any future rulings that Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl makes likely will be challenged in court because Motl’s term of office has expired.

Gov. Steve Bullock appointed Motl in 2013 and the Senate confirmed him to a term ending Jan. 1. A judge nullified that ending date until a decision is made in a lawsuit that argues Motl should be allowed to serve a full six-year term.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday passed a resolution to allow the Senate to intervene in the lawsuit.

Senate Republicans say the Senate’s constitutional authority to confirm appointees is at stake.

Sen. Nels Swandal, who proposed the resolution, said Tuesday he believes actions Motl takes after Jan. 1 will be challenged by those who are affected by his rulings. Motl says he will continue his work.

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