A couple of great, early stories from John Adams and Matt Volz reveal not only what a circus the Republican-controlled PSC has become but may also suggest the need for some kind of independent investigation into the body’s members. As Volz noted in his story:
In the ensuing argument, Kavulla and Gallagher accused each other of misdeeds in office that could not be substantiated and which neither would elaborate upon afterward. As the exchange grew more heated, a recess was hastily called, but the argument between Gallagher and Kavulla continued into the break.
I would argue that these allegations need to be brought forward and investigated. If, as Kavulla claims, he believes that the actions of the agency need to be brought forward for public scrutiny, it’s hard to imagine a scenario under which keeping “misdeeds in office” under wraps could possibly be appropriate.
It’s time for Mr. Kavulla and Mr. Gallagher to come forward and address these allegations. The work of the PSC is too important to let these distractions and sideshows continue. Of course, the Montana Code may present another remedy:
Any person holding a public office of the state or any of its political subdivisions, either by election or appointment, is subject to recall from office.
Physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of the oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of a felony offense enumerated in Title 45 are the only grounds for recall. A person may not be recalled for performing a mandatory duty of the office that the person holds or for not performing any act that, if performed, would subject the person to prosecution for official misconduct.