Bizarre Testimony from Gallik’s Accuser; bad times for GOP in court

If you think the black helicopter crowd lives only in rural Montana, think again.

Recall that when Dave Gallik was forced out as Commissioner of Political Practices last year, there was a feeling among readers at the time that something didn’t smell quite right.  His four employees had rummaged through desk and photocopied his notes, kept tabs on his comings and goings, and sent it all to reporters.  They even called the police one time without any legitimate explanation.  There was a feeling among many observers (and many commenters here) that something smelled fishy, especially when the now-infamous photo appeared on the front of the IR, the four women posing for the photographer, seeming to bask in the glow of their 15 minutes of sunlight.

Gallik has always maintained that he was framed by four people who were out to get him because he was a tough boss who forced them to change their ways, and they were resistant.

Well, yesterday Gallik got his day in court.   And one of his chief accusers, Julie Steab, one of the employees who made some of the strongest accusations against Gallik in the press, was called to the stand.

To the shock of observers in court and the embarrassment of the attorney bringing the case against Gallik, Ms. Steab testified that she was the target of a surveillance operation, that “an unknown person or persons” were “following her” around, day and night, in the aftermath of Gallik’s resignation.  She also testified that the other three women in the office were similarly tailed. But Mary Baker, one of the other employees, took the stand after Steab and stated that she had never been followed nor did she know of any case where any of the four employees were followed.

I’d say Steab’s bizarre testimony is grounds for the press and public to reconsider Gallik’s tenure and the events surrounding his departure.  In my opinion, he was brought down by at least one woman whose credibility has been shattered, whose testimony yesterday clearly suggests to me some type of paranoia or tendency toward fantasy.

The attorney bringing the case was none other than the Tea Partier Art Wittich, suing Gallik on behalf of the Montana Policy Institute, the right-wing think tank.  Wittich, like most GOP attorneys in Montana, spends his days suing the Governor, Steve Bullock, Commissioners past and present, and Democrats generally. Clearly his star witness, Steab, did not deliver, destroyed her own credibility, and caused Wittich some embarrassment.  Poor guy.  It’s kind of like calling a witness to the stand, who upon cross examination confesses to having been abducted by aliens, or having seen Elvis still alive in Hawaii.

Which leads me to a humorous final point, a general pattern of events the last few weeks:

It’s been a dry spell for GOP attorneys.  A few weeks back, Rick Hill hired Bozeman Tea Party hot-head Monforton to give him legal advice. Then another of Hill’s lawyers, Cory Swanson, a young corporate lobbyist and lawyer who makes a living suing the Schweitzer administration, got his head handed to him in district court by three top-rank democratic lawyers, the judge barring Hill from spending the illegal $500k.  Jim Brown, another conservative attorney who represents right-wing American Tradition Partnership, was caught on camera with a mouthful of marbles when presented clear evidence that his client broke the law by coordinating with GOP candidates; he had no response to the reporter, and turned red in the face.   Brown had to then contend with a crowd of protesters outside his office the day after the PBS story aired (though he was a good sport about it, fielding questions from members of the hostile crowd).  Now Wittich puts his star witness on the stand to make his case, and she says that big brother is watching her day and night. Bwahahahaaa!


14 Comments on "Bizarre Testimony from Gallik’s Accuser; bad times for GOP in court"

  1. Maybe it’s one of Schweitzer’s union thug appointees trying more union thug intimidation.

  2. Remember that Steab is the same investigator who’s been bringing us the truth behind ATP’s “dark money” in this election. The same one who had the mind to remove the ATP files from the COPP office before it was broken into.

    Personally, I wouldn’t put it past some people in our government to follow someone who shed light on a vacancy in our COPP office. Especially considering that Gallik’s files “mysteriously disappeared” from both her and Gallik’s computer following the whistle blowing.

    It would be a shame and a testament to how corrupt our state legal system is if this case is dismissed without a full trial.

  3. See:

    HELENA — The staff members in the Office of the Commissioner of Political Practices say their boss, the state’s political campaign ethics and finance enforcement official, has been conducting private business from his state office since his appointment in May.

    All four permanent staff members of the commissioner’s office told the Tribune Capital Bureau in interviews last week that Commissioner Dave Gallik — who was appointed by Gov. Brian Schweitzer in May — has spent nearly as much time in his state office tending to his private law practice as doing official political-practices work.

    “Dave Gallik has been committing ethics violations since he got here,” said Mary Baker, program supervisor for the commissioner’s office. “He has been doing private-practice attorney work in the commissioner’s office since the day he walked in.”

    The commissioner’s staff said Gallik, who earns $57,689 per year as commissioner, also has been fudging time sheets and clocking state time he hasn’t actually worked, an act they described as “stealing from the taxpayers.”

    Gallik, in an interview Thursday, denied the allegations.

    A former Democratic member of the state House who lost a primary bid for the state Senate in 2010, Gallik said his staff members — all of whom were hired before he was appointed — do not like him because he is “different” from past commissioners.

    “The folks around here aren’t used to someone like me,” Gallik said. “What it boils down to is we have classified employees who come in here and work eight hours a day, and former commissioners who had no political background and no legal back­ground. So it’s different.”

    But Baker, along with fel­low staff members Julie Steab, Kym Trujillo, and Karen Musgrave, told the Tribune their complaints against Gallik stem from the fact he isn’t doing the job he was appointed to do and is instead focusing much of his time and energy on his private practice.

  4. …and as to what Ms Baker said, the GFT has a very different account than what is presented here. CG, you should read your links before vilifying others.

    Baker said she didn’t recall being followed, but that she noticed an unfamiliar car often parked outside the building.

    • Actually, no, Craig: Here is what the article says:

      Steab also testified that all four women who spoke out against Gallik in January soon after were followed by an unknown person or persons “for quite a period of time,” and “at all times day and night.”

      “I think it was more of an interest in where we were going and who we were talking to,” Steab said.

      Baker said she didn’t recall being followed, but that she noticed an unfamiliar car often parked outside the building.

  5. So, was there no indication of forced entry when the OPP office was broken into last night? If there was, it wasn’t in the story. odd…

  6. Sometimes cell phone video footage of events has a tendency to pop up in cases like this.

  7. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | November 1, 2012 4:21 PM at 4:21 PM |

    WE’RE PUBBIES, BABY! We don’t NEED no damn reality intruding on our version of events!
    We was FOLLOWED! FOLLOWED I tell ya!

    Would I follow one of these “ladies” in the photo? Oh HELL no! I like my nuts RIGHT where they are. ATTACHED!


    Oh PUHLEESE make them stop! This is all too funny!

    p.s. And to LK. LK, notice that I did NOT call these looney tunes nutcutters. I simply IMPLIED that I would never want to be alone in the same room with these “ladies” and a knife! No me gustan, juevos rancheros, especialMENTE los del ranchero. YO! Viva idiotas! Viva cortajuevos! Viva insanidad! Y VIVA PUBBIES!


  8. A black-bag job within 24 hours of a Frontline expose´ on political corruption?
    Does G. Gordon Libby have an alibi?

  9. Smells kindduh like a Wittich hunt to moi…the infamous photo is eerily reminiscent of American Gothic in a most disturbing manner….

  10. To paraphrase Henry Kissinger, even paranoids can have enemies. Maybe she was followed.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | November 2, 2012 4:32 AM at 4:32 AM |

      “But Mary Baker, one of the other employees, took the stand after Steab and stated that she had never been followed nor did she know of any case where any of the four employees were followed.”

      Ooops! When one is under oath, previously agreed upon stories and fantasies have a tendency to fall apart! If one witness loses their nerve and starts telling the truth, the entire ball of shit comes unraveled! I’ll lay you money that that’s exactly what happened here! The legal threat of punishment for not telling the truth under oath is simply too much for some perps to bear, and they begin ratting on each other like rats! Guess that’s why they call it ratting on each other! Very little loyalty among rats. It becomes every rat for herself!

      Baker lost her nerve and made Steab look like a imbecile! But not only Steab, but the press too who ran with such shoddy accusations!

      Gallik walks, the perps talk!

  11. Like Gallik is gonna get his “job” back? When he was mailing it in anyway?

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