Austin Knudsen

Attorney General-Elect Austin Knudsen Announces Department of Justice Division Administrators

Culbertson, MT – Attorney General-Elect Austin Knudsen today announced the appointment of several division administrators to help lead the Department of Justice.

“We have assembled a tremendous group of talented individuals; I am excited to have each one of them on our team,” Attorney General-Elect Austin Knudsen said. “Working together we will improve efficiencies in our operations and ensure that the DoJ is responsive to all Montanans.

Motor Vehicle Division – Laurie Bakeri – Ms. Backri is originally from Helena; she received her degree from the University of Montana in elementary education. After teaching middle school for several years, she ventured into the private sector.  Starting in a single learning center, she then progressed over 17 years to oversee high quality programming and efficient operations for national and international learning centers. Most recently, Ms. Backri has served as the Business Services Supervisor in the Secretary of State’s office.

Central Services Division – Stephanie Cote – Mrs. Cote is a former state legislator who also served as Senior Policy Advisor for the Montana Secretary of State as well as the Montana State Auditor. Stephanie holds a B.S. In Social Work and has worked nearly 20 years in mental health and long-term care. Stephanie currently owns a consulting business and serves on the board of directors for a local non-profit organization. In addition, Mrs. Cote will serve as Senior Policy Advisor to the Attorney General

Gaming Control Division – Rusty Gackle – Mr. Gackle is an investor and entrepreneur who has owned and operated businesses in an array of industries, including marketing, e-commerce, publishing, agriculture, and real estate. He has an extensive background in finance and management. Born and raised on a farm in eastern Montana, Rusty helps manage his family farm while running his consulting business. He graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Business Finance.

Information Technology Services Division – Michael Harris – Mr. Harris was born and raised in Miles City, he received a degree in Political Science and Public Administration from Montana State University-Bozeman. Mike served as Natural Resources Field Representative for Senator Conrad Burns, as a department administrator for Gallatin County in charge of conservation and recreation programs. Mike also served as the Legislative Liaison for the County Commission working on a broad spectrum of issues related to both state and local government.  In his spare time Mike enjoys riding ATVs with his friends and family, competitive shooting, hunting and fishing.

Forensic Science Division – Scott Larson – Mr. Larson has served as Administrator of the division for over 3 years after previously serving as Toxicology Supervisor. He formerly worked as an Analytical Toxicologist in the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System in Rockville, Maryland and later as the Deputy Chief Toxicologist for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Washington D.C. He received a Bachelors and Masters degree from the University of Montana.

Division of Criminal Investigation – Bryan Lockerby – Mr. Lockerby is a career law enforcement officer who served 31 years with the Great Falls Police Department and spent the last 8 years as DCI Administrator.  He has degrees in criminal justice and sociology, attended the FBI National Academy and recently graduated from the executive leadership program at U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.  Bryan serves as chairman of a number of Rocky Mountain executive committees focused on drug enforcement and criminal intelligence information sharing initiatives.