Top political cop still using lawyer turned candidate who violated campaign finance laws

Helena – More than two months in to his term as Commissioner of Political Practices, Jeff Mangan, is still using the services of a Billings lawyer his office previously found to have violated Montana’s campaign finance laws.

In October 2016, then-Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl found that Billings attorney John Heenan and his political committee Montanans for Experienced Judges violated campaign finance laws in an elaborate scheme to hide the true nature of the funding for the committee.

According to the Commissioner of Political Practices website the status of the case is, “Settlement/Litigation in Progress”.

Commissioner Jonathan Motl had originally hired Heenan and his law partner Gene Jarussi to prosecute cases on behalf of his office.

Despite Motl’s departure from the office, court documents show that Heenan and Jarussi are currently prosecuting serval cases on behalf of the Commissioner’s office, all of which are against Republicans or conservative-leaning organizations.

Both Heenan and Jarussi are longtime Democrat donors and activist. Records from the National Institute on Money in State Politics show that Heenan and his wife have contributed more than $10,000 to Montana Democrat candidates and causes while Jarussi has given more than $50,000.

Heenan filed paperwork on August 5th to run as a Democrat against Congressman Greg Gianforte.

By: Big Sky Headlines staff