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PSC Rejects Montana Telephone Company's Confidential Pay Claim

A Montana judge has rejected a telephone company's claim that its executives' pay is a confidential trade secret.

District Judge Mike Menahan of Helena ruled last week for the Public Service Commission, which requires Southern Montana Telephone Company to disclose the salaries and total compensation of their executives.

PSC spokesperson Eric Sell.

“The commission felt that as they are receiving over 20 percent of their revenue from federal subsidies, that they should be required to disclose their executive salaries, if those employees are making more than 100,000 dollars annually.”

The PSC had denied the company, which has about 950 customers, its request for a protective order that would keep confidential that salary information.

The company sued, seeking Menahan's ruling on its argument that salary information is a trade secret and is protected under privacy rights.

Menahan's order says the PSC properly concluded the information is not a trade secret and the public has a constitutional right to scrutinize the company's public utility records.

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