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Mike Cooney Fined $1K For Violating Ethics Laws

Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney.
State of Montana
State of Montana
Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney.

Montana's Commissioner of Political Practices has fined Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney $1,000 for violating state ethics laws by participating in a campaign-related conference call from his office at the state Capitol this spring.

The Montana Republican Party filed a complaint with the commissioner over the April 13 call, saying Cooney was using taxpayer resources while working on campaign strategy in his run for governor. 

Commissioner of Political Practices Jeff Mangan found Cooney violated the state code of ethics for improper use of facilities while participating in a conference call with the Democartic Governors Association supporting his candidacy for public office.

The Democratic Governors Association is dedicated to electing Democratic governors and candidates.

“When Lieutenant Governor Cooney was supposed to be working for the people of Montana, he was using taxpayer resources to strategize with the out-of-state liberals that are bankrolling his campaign,” said Montana Republican Party Executive Director Spenser Merwin in an emailed statement.

“The Lieutenant Governor was in the office helping manage the state through the onset of the COVID pandemic,” said Cooney’s campaign spokesperson Ronja Abel in an emailed statement. “He holds himself to the highest ethical standards and this is a small price to pay for leadership—for being on the job working with Governor Bullock in an unprecedented crisis.”

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Kayla writes about energy policy, the oil and gas industry and new electricity developments.