Montana Politics

Gallik Resigns As Story Gets Stranger

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Dave Gallik has resigned as the Commissioner of Political Practices, reports John Adams and the Lee papers.

I suspect that more of the story of going to come out over the next few days and weeks, but I have to say that, while I don’t have reason to question anyone’s integrity, there are a couple of elements of the story that certainly deserve clarification.

The AP reported today that staff members at the Commissioner’s office called the police today, despite the fact that Gallik had not spoken to any of them. All other accusations aside, there has to be a damn good reason for someone to call the police into an office—and I hope someone presses for an explanation.

That the four staffers at the center of the story felt the need to get legal representation to speak for them today also struck me as strange.

And then there was this element in John Adams’ original story, which never sat quite right with me:

According to his staff, Gallik regularly leaves his computer on, logged in, unattended and unsecured for long periods of time when he leaves the office, which is a violation of the state’s computer workstation policy.

Every member of the commissioner’s staff said they’ve regularly seen emails on his computer related to his private practice. They said they’ve also seen private-­practice case files on his desk in the commissioner’s office.

I work in an environment with a lot of shared space and computer resources, and unless part of these staffers jobs was to share Mr. Gallik’s computer, that section is certainly suggestive of people of who were taking more than a passing interest in his work. When a colleague leaves a computer workstation unattended at school, I can’t imagine once taking the time to look closely enough at e-mail to discern its subject matter, much repeatedly.

Bottom line: Gallik’s resigned—and the accusations against him may well prove to be entirely true. If so, his resignation is appropriate. But the accusers also need to face public scrutiny as well—and today’s decision to call the HPD is an example of something that demands further explanation.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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