Thursday, October 10, 2013

Poor choice

Posted on Thu, Oct 10, 2013 at 4:00 AM

I was delighted to see the article on the forthcoming Montana Health CO-OP and the great work John Morrison has done helping health CO-OPs across the country get launched (see “Proving ground,” Sept. 26).

It was a poor editorial choice to repeat details from a Senate primary in 2006, and in poor context. John continues to make good things happen for Montana and the rest of the country, but the author felt it was important to take a shot at John.

The article states that Morrison’s 2006 Senate bid failed in part because of a story that broke about “alleged ethical misconduct while in office.” This apparently refers to the story run by the Independent in the heat of the primary, citing unnamed sources, who faulted Morrison’s handling of a certain securities case.

No one ever filed a complaint or charge of any kind against Morrison in any forum regarding this unfounded “misconduct”.

After the Senate primary, John Morrison asked numerous people to review the case file. The State Auditor employees, and former employees who were involved in the case, unanimously wrote that Morrison acted with the highest degree of integrity in the handling of the case. Those employees also affirmed Morrison’s honesty and dedication in handling all cases before his office.

Supreme Court Justice Beth Baker, then the special prosecutor in the case in question, agreed. John then submitted the file to outside experts, including: a former (Republican) State Auditor, former Attorney General, former Supreme Court Justice, former U.S. Attorney, and many others.

All wrote that Morrison handled the case properly and in accordance with high ethical and professional standards.

The allegations, made then to a reporter by unnamed sources during a contested primary race, were unfounded and unfair. They do not now merit being mentioned in current stories about John’s continued public service for our state.

Joe Easton

Missoula

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