Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday night that departing Lt. Gov. Angela McLean’s perceived frustrations with the role of lieutenant governor were “disruptive.”
In a statement to Lee Newspapers, Bullock said: “This happens every day in businesses across the country, where the fit just isn’t right. Angela is smart and ambitious, but seemed frustrated with the role of lieutenant governor, and that was disruptive to our work for Montana. But I have no doubt that she has talents that will serve the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education well.”
Emails between Bullock and McLean that were released to MTN News late this week detail the rocky relationship between Bullock’s administration and the departing lieutenant governor.
Those emails were also requested by, but not released to, Lee Newspapers. Attempts to reach Bullock’s chief legal counsel, Andy Huff, who earlier acknowledged getting Lee’s request, at the Capitol on Friday were not successful, nor were attempts to work with Bullock’s staff Friday to get the documents.
On Nov. 30, state officials announced McLean was leaving her job to become the director of American Indian and minority achievement and K-12 partnerships in the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education. She starts that job Jan. 4 group collaboration software.
Bullock is now searching for a new lieutenant governor. Whoever he picks will be the third person to fill that role. Bullock’s first lieutenant governor, John Walsh, was appointed by Bullock to fill a U.S. Senate seat vacated by Max Baucus, who became ambassador to China.
Walsh, made an incumbent, later dropped out of the subsequent Senate race when it was found he plagiarized a paper he submitted to the War College.
When it was announced McLean was leaving the lieutenant governor position, Bullock said the departure was the result of her seizing on an opportunity to work on education issues and that she wasn’t being forced out so Bullock could pick a new running mate for the 2016 election. Bullock also said that Nov. 30 was the first he’d heard of McLean pursuing her new job.
cLean was locked out of her lieutenant governor Twitter account and her meetings with the governor were canceled.