Right-wing Supreme Court candidate Kristen Juras touts her experience in business. Yet the single most important duty of a company’s legal counsel is to make sure the company complies with the law.
She was general counsel for Crop Growers Insurance which at the time was headquartered in Great Falls. During her tenure, Crop Growers was indicted on federal criminal charges, as was its CEO and Senior VP for bribery related to a scheme to funnel illegal contributions to the 1993 congressional campaign of former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy’s brother.
So her work in the private sector, which she points to proudly, is limited consists of having either approved of what was going on, or trying to clean up the mess and defend criminal activity, and does not exactly scream out competence.
You can read the indictment here.
The company (and jobs) and the shares plummeted. The company paid a $2 million fine to settle the case, and its CEO John Hemmingson was convicted by a jury of money laundering. He served a year in a halfway house in Spokane until he was Pardoned by President Clinton on his last day in office. Yet the sports arena at Gonzaga University is now named after Hemmingson thanks to his $25 million donation, which I guess is a thing people do who want to improve a negative public image.
To be sure, this helps explain why Montana GOP all-stars Jason Priest and Art Wittich are among her biggest supporters. But the most important point is, no matter how many times Juras peppers her Facebook page with the word, Juras hardly has any experience, and the experience she does have is not something to brag about, as we see from this insurance scandal.