Helena Attorney Won’t Prosecute Stapleton Over Vehicle Use

Legislative auditors found Secretary of State put nearly 28,000 miles on the state vehicle

By AMY BETH HANSON, Associated Press

HELENA — The city of Helena won’t be pursuing criminal charges against Secretary of State Corey Stapleton for using a state pickup truck to travel home to Billings on weekends.

Legislative auditors found Stapleton put nearly 28,000 miles (45,000 kilometers) on the state vehicle for personal travel from January 2017 through June 2018, costing taxpayers $5,700.

The attorney general’s office referred the investigation to Helena Police.

City Attorney Thomas Jodoin wrote to the state Department of Criminal Investigations Monday saying that one-year statute of limitations on the alleged misdemeanor expired last month, so the city wouldn’t be filing charges.

Auditors noted their findings didn’t account for any travel that may have occurred from July 2018 through April 2019 when auditors questioned the use of the vehicle and it was returned to the state motor pool.