By Sam Wilson, Helena Independent Record
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte plans to appeal a judge’s order that his office release a trove of records related to his administration’s decision to drop sanctions against a mining company executive.
In a motion this week to stay Lewis and Clark District Judge Christopher Abbott’s order in June requiring the governor to turn over the records, an attorney for the state noted that the administration intends to appeal the June decision to the Montana Supreme Court.
Abbott granted a temporary stay Wednesday. He asked the parties to submit additional briefs as he considers whether to extend the stay while the governor’s appeal plays out.
The judge had earlier given Gianforte six weeks to turn over the documents, which were the subject of a 2021 public records request from the Montana Environmental Information Center. That deadline would have been Friday. MEIC, along with another environmental group, Earthworks, sued the administration after it rejected the request. The Attorney General’s office is handling the state’s case.