Montana Politics

Commissioner Gallik facing ethics charges

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You can’t read the whole article online – but there was a scathing piece in the print edition of the Great Falls Tribune this morning regarding the Office of the Commissioner of Political Practices.

Apparently the commissioner’s staff is none too pleased with the way Commissioner Gallik has been conducting himself since taking over the Office of the Commissioner of Political Practices.

At the moment it seems like it was a John Adams’ exclusive, but I’m sure Lee Newspapers will be picking up the story this week.

It boils down to Gallik charging the state for time he wasn’t actually working for the state and trying to merge his law practice and the office of political practices. That’s a very simplistic summary of the story, of course. To get a better idea, visit the Tribune.

[Don Update: The story is on the Lowdown blog.]

We’ll stay on top of this story as it develops.

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M. Storin

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  • If the story holds up, Gallik needs to rethink his employment with the state–at a minimum.

    Of course, given that PSC Chair Travis Kavulla accused fellow commissioner Bill Gallagher of using his PSC office to run his legal practice, I wish there had been more digging there, too.

  • YOWza! Take a close look at the photo of the accusers in this story. And then ask yourself, would YOU want to work with these people? Only one word comes to mind. NUTcutters!

    • Seriously now, this APPEARS to be all the world simply a case of some ladies who do NOT like the fact that they have a BOSS! (male boss at that) They have been state workers for just a wee bit to long, and appear to have gone native! They don't LIKE taking orders any more! Happens all the time! SO, I for one would like to know just WHAT qualifications these ladies have for the jobs they possess. I have great faith in Gallik. He proved himself as a legislator. So now, just WHO are these complainers? And WHY are they qualified to do what they do? Sometimes, when you complain WAY too loudly, you just might shine the light on yourself! Methinks that these ladies doth protest too much!

      Another goofy story by adams along the lines of the Walt Schweitzer hit piece. This thing very well could be politically motivated.

      • Larry, your comment didn't make me laugh until I saw the picture you referred to then I almost busted a gut. But I don't think you are correct, Gallik is probably the last person in the world who should be running the political practices commission. I'm trying to think of a nice way to say sleezy.

      • Um, would YOU consider criticizing your employer? I have yet to see such a story from you, mr. adams! These ladies are very, very unappreciative, ungrateful STATE employees. If you're gonna work for a man, WORK for the man! Or leave. It's that simple. But ferchrissakes, DON'T run to the press with internal disputes! That's simply bullshit. Sorry, dude, but I highly suspect that there's the ENTIRE rest of the story that you missed. Sorry, but I have NEVER had much sympathy for gubmint workers, men OR women, who must air their dirty laundry in public! HEY, they got good gubmint jobs with BENEFITS even. Now, do the job or joins us slobs! Us slobs in the private sector. We DON'T have the luxury of on call reporters to print our stories!

    • EDITED. It bothers me when glorified secretaries complain their boss is not working hard enough. I hope they all find new jobs soon.

        • I forgive you, Ralph………………………..FOR BEING FUNNY AS HELL! Look, someone attempted to portray these "ladies" as whistle blowers! Now THAT'S funny as hell too! Just WHAT THE HELL did they blow the whistle on?? That he didn't fill out his time sheet correctly for a salaried position? Jeebus, what a bunch-o CRAP! That he wasn't working 24/7 on his job? JUMPIN" jeebus! Show me ANY state worker who's never taken a wee bit of a break!

          • I want to see the education levels, the qualifications, the performance reviews, the E-MAIL records and PHONE records of every freakin' single ONE of the accusers! Hey, if you're gonna accuse, you just might lose!

            And no, I'm not a sexist as some have portrayed. I prefer to call myself a REALIST! And all these males accusing me of being a sexist are NOT nutcutters, but simply nutless wonders! They KNOW I'm right, and that I'm telling the TRVTH, as I always do. They just don't want to admit it. It's called cowardice.

            And I will be the freakin' FIRST to say that Gallik has to go IF it can be proved that he actually DID something worthy of being dismissed! But so far, all we have are these "ladies" and the rightwing hordes who are WETTING themselves with delight! Sorry, but wet rightwingers just isn't enough in MY court of public opinion!

  • Lawyers serving in both sectors happens all the time. What struck me is that Mr. Gallik admitted to not advancing the case load reflecting a profit motive rather than a public service motive.

      • No one's being voted off anything. I'll have to decide if I want to keep the "thumbs up, thumbs down" element of the comments, though. It seems like it might have positive and negative effects. 🙂

  • I have to say that I don't think the photo was the best idea in the story, not for any of the reasons discussed in the thread, but simply because the staged look will contribute to the idea that this was some sort of conspiracy against Mr. Gallik.

    Let's see if Commissioner Gallik responds more effectively. I'm far more interested in evidence and argument than appearance.

  • These women made their allegations to the Governor's chief of staff and the Legislative Audit Division, which, I might add, has a "fraud hotline." Their complaints were not investigated. They felt if they continued to go about business as usual then they would be complicit in illegal activity. After going to the proper authorities and feeling that they were essentially ignored, they went to the press to expose what they believed were serious ethics violations. It was the Tribune's decision to photograph them that way, not theirs. Unlike anonymous state workers who complain about wrongdoing but do not go on the record out of fear of retaliation, these women not only went on record, they also looked readers in the eye and told their story. Larry's comments are uninformed and out of line. Criticize me all you want. Hell, you can even speculate on my "motives" all you want. But calling these women "nutcutters" is disgusting and offensive to any decent human being.

    • I agree. My comment was certainly not meant to express agreement with that sentiment, just a general remark about those kinds of photos. I don't think they are ever good decisions–and it was pretty obvious a photographer made them stand like that. 🙂

      My hope is that Commissioner Gallik has a better defense than the one he offered in your story yesterday, not for his sake, but for the credibility of the office. Between this story and the Republican refusal to confirm Jennifer Hensley, it's taken a beating–and the office is going to be needed in the next year.

        • According to the staff, they spoke with attorneys in the AG's office who did not want to be quoted in the newspaper. I've asked the Attorney General's office for more information. Stay tuned…

          • Tuned? for WHAT? Where are the REST of the state dailies on this horrific abuse of gubmint funds? It's shocking that no OTHER paper is willing to cover adams' big story! Sad, so sad that they don't see the significance of four state workers who don't like their boss so they decided to get out some good slander out there BEFORE "the next election" cycle! This is real news if there ever WAS some!

            The GF Fibune is a joke newspaper, a gag newspaper. Sad that this once noble paper has sunk to this level! What garbage!

      • Sarah Elliott's statement in response to my request to interview Viv Hammill, Patti Keebler and/or Gov. Schweitzer:

        “When Governor Schweitzer appointed Dave Gallik he asked him to do more with less. In the first six months of being Commissioner, Gallik, being himself an attorney, saved the office thousands on legal fees and decided at least 27 cases and motions. In comparison, Dennis Unsworth, the previous Commissioner, decided only 13 cases in his first six months.
        The Office of the Commissioner of Political Practices is not managed or under the jurisdiction of the Governor’s Office. The Governor is aware, that just like many Montanans, Gallik works two jobs. The Governor’s Chief of Staff did speak to him about how to properly account for his state time.
        Commissioner Gallik’s work product speaks for itself.”

        I wrote that the members of the staff believed their complaints went investigated. If there was an investigation I am unaware of it. The governor's office provided no evidence that there was or was not an investigation and declined my request for an interview.

    • John, you’re absolutely right in that last sentence. I think it says all we need to know about Larry/Pogue They are brave women and hard workers with a public service attitude. That no one in the Audit would do anything speaks volumes.

      I wasn’t able to discern any of your ulterior motives, and Larry/Pogue wasn’t able to express any, either.

      Good reporting, and thanks for sticking up for these women too. They are admirable.

  • "However, the staff said the results of that audit wouldn’t be known until late next fall, possibly after the 2012 election cycle."

    From adams's story. One of the complainers.

    Nope. Nuthin' political a'tall to see here. Just keep moving, folks. Everything is under control. Nuthin' political here to see. Just ignore the comments like the one above. These ladies were just concerned enough that they had to make these complaints BEFORE the next election cycle! So's I believe'em! Even more! That's just who they are. Folks CONCERNED about slanderin' a dude BEFORE the next election cycle! Makes perfect sense to me!

    Sorry, but bein' a Montanan, I can smell bull crap from a distance!

    • I would really, really, REALLY like to see made public the e-mails of THESE complainers! Phone records too! These folks NEVER called home?? Sorry, but I ain't buyin' that. Ya know, having worked in similar gubmint type jobs, I can NEVER remember worrying about how the boss spent every minute of their time! THESE "workers" have WAY too much free time on their hands!

    • I've had contact with at least two of the women in the picture. Usually, it has to do with some question on campaign practices, including financing and reporting, campaign advertising, and other legalities surrounding campaigns (and believe me, there are a lot of rules, many of them nuanced). These women have always been professional, courteous and prompt. Just an observation.

      • Well, I suppose that folks who know Gallik could say the exact same thing. But Interesting to note the inbreds' reactions to the story on adams' site. They're eatin' this crap up! Pretty freakin' predictable responses from the reetarted crowd. I'm still waiting for the adams story on the Pubbies in this state! So far, we have Walt Schweitzer and Dave Gallik. Are there REALLY no Pubbie scandals worth indepth reporting? I find that really, really hard to believe.

  • I agree that the photographs are screaming a message that is different than the story. Which is accurate it is hard to say. Usually in situations like this it is a little of both.

  • Adams wrote a fine report. It it stands up, Gallik must stand down. What the women in the office did required courage, and all evidence points to their acting in good faith.

    Of course, giving Gallik the heave-ho only opens the office to being filled by another political hack. The salary should be at least doubled, former elected officials banned from serving, and politically independent jurists and professors of law appointed. Political practices should be a watchdog with teeth, not a lapdog with political masters and a feckless work ethic.

  • "But calling these women "nutcutters" is disgusting and offensive to any decent human being.", J. Adams.

    HEY, there are us INDECENT folks out there TOO you know! We got rights too! And opinions! But here, adams, allow me to put the monkey back on YOUR back. WHY ARE THERE NO MEN IN THAT OFFICE?? I don't get it! Huh? Huh? Huh? Ever had a woman boss? YEEEhaw but that can be interesting! And here we have FOUR bosses! They're gonna give Gallik his review! In the press! In front of God and EVERbody! Is THAT even in their job description?? Hey, adams, ask ANYONE who's ever had a woman boss what that was like!

    And no, I ain't no misowhatever! Hell, I LIKE women! But I'm also a realist. YOU have obviously never worked closely with a group of women. Ask ANY dude who has ever coached a girls team what THAT was like!

    • And no, I ain't no misowhatever! Hell, I LIKE women! But I'm also a realist. YOU have obviously never worked closely with a group of women. Ask ANY dude who has ever coached a girls team what THAT was like!

      Now, I ain't sayin' for a fact that what we got here is a bunch of angry white women. All's I'm saying is that that COULD very well be what we got here! One contrary word said casually without thinking and you will NEVER be allowed to forget it! It becomes a blood fued, a mortal grudge match to the death! In know! Been there, done that! And when you get FOUR angry white women in the SAME office who've been there for SOME time and who are used to doing things THEIR way, sh*t happens when a new boss comes in!

      I release Gallik on his own recognizance.

    • Oooo boy! From the story, do you best to extrapolate just WHAT was so wrong? Come ON, craig. You see a shenanigan. Well OK then, Is a shenanigan REALLY malfeasance? And if it's NOT malfeasance, why are all you righties wetting your drawers? I suspect that you know that this story is simply bullshit. Sorry, we don't all get to pick our bosses. And that kinda sucks, don't it? You got a big fat Louiville Slugger NUTHIN' for facts, but that will not stop you and the Daily Eructor types from using it to bash the administration. Sad, so sad. Getting bashed with nuthin' makes the bashee look a little simple.

  • Sounds to me at the very least like Gallik is not doing his job very well, if at all. Just because the guy happens to be a democrat doesn't mean he should be given immunity from scrutiny Larry. If there is any truth to the allegations (and you have no credible reason to suspect otherwise) he needs to clean up his act, do his job, and quit milking off of Uncle Sugar Teat as you like to say . Or maybe the Uncle Sugar Teat thing doesn't apply to state jobs.

    • "If there is any truth to the allegations (and you have no credible reason to suspect otherwise)"

      Actually, jack, Larry has the best reason to "suspect otherwise". The fundamental dictum of America's rule of law is this: Innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I'm not defending Gallik or Larry's sexist characterizations above, but more dangerous to the state and country by far is when one is called on to prove innocence in the face of allegations. Please don't go there.

  • I guess the real story here is that Gallik may or may not be padding his hours at taxpayers' expense. But the vitriolic attacks on the women in the commission's office are shocking. I thought that we had all evolved beyond the labels of "bitches" and "nutcutters" and "hos" but apparently not.

    Granted, it isn't the most flattering photo but it isn't a news photographer's job to make people look good (unless he's doing a fashion spread). Maybe some of the commenters would be happier if the women had been photographed in full burkas, or been placed in stocks, or perhaps had their tongues cut out …

    Somewhere above there's a comment that if it were four men in that photo then none of these derogatory statements would have been made. So true.

    Let's wait until the facts are sorted out. Until then, is it possible to keep the sexist slander to a minimum? This thread is becoming an embarrassment.

  • Hey, adams, your Four Horsecrappers of the Apocryphal have just done what???? HIred a freakin' LIARWYER?? Who hires a freakin' liarwyer against their boss??? Wow. Just wow! What the hell do they want now, a SETTLEMENT? For being whiners?? Too funny, dude! They hired some dude named Budewaste. Why, jonny, oh why? This is gettin' REAL freakin' FREAKY, dude! Did you liarwyer UP yet, or is the Fibune providing you with one for slander?? How much of a settlement do these "ladies" WANT for doin' dumb crap? That otter be worth a LARGE chunk of gubmint money, right? I mean, do sumthin' REAL stoopid, then SUE the state! It's the Murcan dream! Get stoopid, get someone to print it, then get RICH!

    This story may get legs yet, but NOT for the reasons that you thought! It's fast becoming a laughingstock! And well it should, for it simply reflects the "journalistic" standards of the Great Falls Spitoon! What a joke. Why do the Four Horsecrappers of the Apocryphal need a liarwyer for??

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