Helena – The Commissioner of Political Practices ruled earlier this year that a political committee run by the wife of political prosecutor Gene Jarussi violated campaign finance regulations during the 2016 campaign. As part of a settlement agreement, Mrs. Jarussi admitted to multiple violations and has been fined by the Commissioner.
Neighbors for Responsible Legislators was founded by Karen Jarussi in September 2016 to aid the campaign of Billings Democrat Jessica Karjala’s campaign for State House District 48. Mrs. Jarussi served as the committee’s treasurer and was the only officer listed on documents filed with the Commissioner of Political Practices office.
Karen Jarussi’s husband, Billings attorney, Gene Jarussi is currently serving as a Special Attorney General prosecuting cases on behalf of the Commissioner of Political Practices office. This spring, 34 legislators sent a letter to Commissioner Jeff Mangan calling on him to remove Mr. Jarussi from his post citing his activism on behalf of Democrat campaigns and a 2017 campaign finance complaint filed against he and his wife.
In the ruling, Commissioner Mangan found the Mrs. Jarussi’s committee committed multiple violations of campaign finance regulations including: failure to properly report its independent expenditures, failure to properly report in-kind contributions and failure to meet campaign finance reporting deadlines.
In a settlement agreement, Mrs. Jarussi admitted to multiple campaign finance violations and was fined $400.00, in exchange the Commissioner agreed not to prosecute the case in state District Court were Mrs. Jarussi could have faced thousands of dollars in fines and court costs.
By: Big Sky Headlines Staff