Select Committee Appointed to Review Settlements Paid to State Employees

HELENA, Mont. – A select committee has been appointed by Montana Senate President Scott Sales and Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen to examine more than $1.2 Million in settlement funds paid to state employees since the beginning of last year.

Settlement numbers were released late last year in a memo from the Legislative Audit Division at the request of Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas. It found that $1,211,235 has been paid out for state employee settlements since the beginning of fiscal year 2017.

Sales and Knudsen released the following statement on the formation of the select committee:

“The issue of Governor Bullock paying off disgruntled state employees has been raised many times, but with this memo we can clearly see the dramatic spike in settlement payments beginning in 2013 all the way through today. Montana taxpayers fund our state government and in accordance with the Montana Supreme Court, we have a right to know why state employees are being paid off as they leave office. The select committee will work to bring light to this issue.”

The Select Committee on State Settlement Accountability is a bicameral bipartisan committee appointed by Sales and Knudsen. Members will examine concerns raised during Governor Bullock’s 2016 reelection campaign on the high cost of employee settlements, as well as whistleblower allegations that came to light during the 2017 legislative session.

Members include:

Sen. Nels Swandal, (R) SD 30 (Chair)

Sen. Keith Regier, (R) SD 3

Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick, (R) SD 10

Sen. Nate McConnell (D) SD 48

Sen. Mary Caferro, (D) SD 40

Rep. Ron Ehli (R) HD 88

Rep. Alan Doane (R) HD 36

Rep. Forrest Mandeville (R) HD 57

Rep. Brad Hamlett (D) HD 23

Rep. Kimberly Dudik (D) HD 94


Click here to download the Legislative Audit Division memo.



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