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SCHWEITZER-ETHICS – Judge says Schweitzer Ads Didn’t Break the Law

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A state judge has upheld the dismissal of an ethics complaint against former Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock ruled Monday the Democrat did not violate state law by taping public-service announcements promoting Montana agriculture after filling for re-election in 2008.

The announcements were sent to radio stations across Montana.

The Montana Republican Party brought the complaint against Schweitzer, saying the use of state funds to pay for such announcements is forbidden when a public official is running for office.

Lee Newspapers of Montana reports Sherlock says there is no evidence the announcements were ever used, so it can’t be found that Schweitzer broke the law.

GOP executive director Bowen Greenwood says the case was brought because people heard the ads on the radio.

Schweitzer left office Jan. 7.

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