HELENA — A Montana judge reversed the state Commissioner of Political Practices’ decision that found that the Fish, Wildlife and Parks department violated ethics laws.
The Independent Record reports that District Judge Michael McMahon issued the reversal last week in a complaint filed by Trap Free Montana.
The complaint argued the department violated laws when it allowed the Montana Trappers Association to use a state-owned educational trailer in May 2014 to advocate against a ballot initiative that sought to eliminate most trapping on public lands.
McMahon’s said the commissioner’s decision ignored the wording of state law, which says state employees cannot use public time or equipment to campaign. The commissioner found that FWP employee “knew or should have known” that providing temporary use of state equipment to an individual or group could lead to its use for advocacy purposes.
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