Dozens of Montana legislators, the governor and several top staff members often use personal email accounts to discuss government business, a practice criticized nationwide for circumventing public disclosure and threatening security. The recent presidential election put unprecedented focus on the use of personal email by government officials. Less attention has been paid to the practice in Montana even though it is widespread.
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Not a single email is stored in the state archives, even though Montana leaders have used them to conduct state business for decades and state law requires emails of importance to be preserved.
Read More… from Montana fails to retain decades of emails despite open government law
The Montana State Supreme Court has ordered a lower court to review the disciplinary records related to a former University of Montana student and determine which, if any, can be released to author Jon Krakauer.
Read More… from Montana Supreme Court orders lower court review in case U. of Montana student
Should intercollegiate athletes have diminished expectations of privacy? Best-selling author Jon Krakauer and his attorney, Mike Meloy of Helena, say yes.
At the heart of Krakauer’s wide-ranging argument for the release of documents related to the decision to vacate former Montana Grizzlies quarterback Jordan Johnson's expulsion after university proceedings found him guilty of sexual assault in 2013 is the contention that student-athletes aren’t subject to privacy laws due to their status as public figures.
Read More… from College athletes’ privacy rights questioned in Montana records case
The Montana Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday in Jon Krakauer v. State of Montana and Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian.
Investigative journalist and bestselling author Krakauer is seeking records related to the decision to vacate former University of Montana Grizzlies quarterback Jordan Johnson's expulsion after multiple university proceedings found him guilty of rape.
Read More… from Montana Supreme Court to hear Krakauer records case
A Lewis and Clark County jury deliberated four hours at the end of a weeklong trial in deciding that Rep. Art Wittich violated Montana campaign finance law.
District Judge Ray Dayton, of Anaconda, now must decide the penalty.
Read More… from Editorial: Enforcing Montana’s campaign transparency law
We have to giggle just a little bit.
On one hand, it's amusing that a bunch of media organizations make a big deal anytime a group of leaders, lawmakers or politicians want to hole up for a meeting. Anyone who has ever been to a government meeting knows what a lonely, sleepy proposition that can be.
Read More… from Editorial: Montana Democrats did right by opening meeting
Despite Montana’s strong public information laws, news organizations in many Montana counties, including Missoula and Butte, have long fought for the public’s right to access the photographs taken of accused criminals when they are booked into jail.
Thanks to a recent district court ruling, that fight has been largely settled. Not surprisingly, public access triumphed.
Read More… from Editorial: Decision to release booking photos in Montana was a victory for freedom of information
Booking photos — aka "mug shots" — of criminal defendants are now public records in Montana that must be released to the news media.
In October, state District Court Judge Jon Oldenburg of Lewistown ordered a mug shot, or booking photo, released in Park County, saying it is public justice information.
Read More… from Judge rules that booking photos are public records in Montana
HELENA, Mont. – Directors at six state agencies say they'll be ready to record their meetings when new transparency laws requiring them to do so take effect this year.
Five agencies must make video or audio recordings of their meetings available online or on television within one working day beginning July 1. They include the Board of Public Education, Board of Investments, teachers' and public employees' retirement boards and the Board of Regents.
Read More… from Montana: Agencies say they’ll be ready to meet transparency laws