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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Montana Sued Over Public Records Request Related To American Lands Council

Montana State Senator Jennifer Fielder (R) SD-7.
Mike Albans
Senator Jennifer Fielder (R) SD-7.

A national government watchdog organization filed a lawsuit this morning against Montana. Campaign for Accountability is suing Sen. Jennifer Fielder, a Republican from Thompson Falls, and the State Legislative Services Division for allegedly failing to comply with a public records request.Campaign for Accountability Executive Director Daniel Stevens says his organization requested documents relating to Senator Fielder’s work with the Utah-based nonprofit American Lands Council last February, after Fielder took over as CEO.

"If they had been produced six months ago I wouldn't  have thought much of it, but the fact that Sen. Fielder has been unwilling to give these emails to us for that long makes me think there must be something in there that she's scared to show us," says Stevens.

Last year, Campaign for Accountability alleged that former American Lands Council CEO Ken Ivory used his elected position to benefit the non-profit. Ivory was cleared of wrongdoing by the Utah Attorney General but stepped down as CEO after public scrutiny. Daniels says the public records request for Fielder’s emails was a natural follow-up.

Fielder says she has already sent Campaign for Accountability the documentation they requested.

"Hopefully they can stop wasting Montana taxpayers’ time and my time and go after Hillary Clinton," says Fielder.

Daniels says his organization has received some, but not all, of the documents that were requested.

Nicky is MTPR's Flathead-area reporter.
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