This Ben Krakowka character is drunk on his own power. As you know, Krakowka is the Deer Lodge County Attorney. What you probably didn’t know is that Krakowka’s campaign treasurer was Angela McLean’s husband, Mike. Angela McLean as you know, is the Lieutenant Governor of Montana. And I think Ben Krakowka is related by marriage to the Lieutenant Governor’s husband, as well. They’re cousins, or something. Well, that explains a lot, doesn’t it? No wonder Krakowka gets away with all his dubious activities. He has connections at the Lieutenant Governor’s office.
I absolutely believe Krakowka has committed several crimes, including hiring a deputy state prosecutor through the back-door, illegally, ignoring due process. This happened a couple of years ago, but important questions about this fiasco remain unanswered.
Every time I try to get answers about this (allegedly) illegally-hired prosecutor, I get stonewalled. Krakowka and his employees at the Anaconda-Deer Lodge County courthouse refuse to answer questions about it. When I try to get public information about the hiring of this so-called prosecutor, Krakowka behaves more and more like a DICTATOR trying to silence his opposition. I don’t believe this deputy prosecutor was legally hired. I believe the whole so-called “hiring” process was covered up, with the willing assistance of folks at the Montana Attorney General’s office, in particular a man named Brant Light.
In order to hire a deputy state prosecutor, the county attorney is required to follow local and state law. He is required to ask the county commission, at public meetings, for permission to hire deputy prosecutors, but he apparently didn’t do that. I made several attempts to find some record of how Krakowka hired this deputy by looking at the commission meeting minutes, but I got the typical Anaconda Stonewall from county employees. County employees have provided nothing in the way of public records to indicate this deputy prosecutor was properly hired during a six-month period from July 1, 2013 through December 2013.
The deputy prosecutor in question had been providing attorney services to Deer Lodge County for some time, but her contract expired on June 30, 2013. County employees refuse to discuss how this deputy prosecutor was re-hired after her contract expired. I was able to get the billing invoices, from July 2013 and afterward, that this deputy prosecutor sent by email to the Chief Executive, Connie Ternes-Daniels.
I believe those invoices should have been sent to the Clerk of the Commission, not the Chief Executive. As I understand it, this deputy prosecutor was paid over $18,000 of taxpayer money in six months’ time, after her contract expired on June 30, 2013. There was no public notice about this expenditure, as far as I know. There is apparently no record of a contract for her services after her previous contract expired on June 30, 2013, as required by law. The folks in charge at the county courthouse don’t want to discuss it.
I complained about this deputy prosecutor issue, as well as other issues, to several people over Ben Krakowka’s head, including Assistant Attorney General Brant Light. When Brant Light stonewalled me, I complained to the Montana Office of Disciplinary Counsel. (Those are the Montana Supreme Court guys who are supposed to regulate unethical attorneys in Montana.) The ODC stonewalled me, too. No surprise there!
I believe Krakowka incriminated himself, in writing, by stating to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel that he had permission to re-hire this deputy prosecutor after her contract expired. I don’t believe Krakowka had legal grounds to pay this prosecutor any taxpayer money after June 30, 2013. I don’t believe this so-called state “prosecutor” had any legal jurisdiction to be acting on behalf of the state of Montana after June 30, 2013. I believe Krakowka broke the law and then lied about it. Unfortunately, I believe Krakowka’s crimes have been covered up because of his family connection to the Lieutenant Governor.
Who is this lawyer that Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Attorney Ben Krakowka apparently hired through the back door, illegally? Her name is Susan Callaghan. At the very same time Susan Callaghan was, by all appearances, masquerading as a Montana state prosecutor, her law partner was an attorney in Missoula, named Tyler Gernant.
Who the heck is Tyler Gernant? Well, he is the recently-elected Clerk and Recorder of Missoula County. He’s a Democrat. If Tyler Gernant behaves as badly as his (former) law partner Susan Callaghan, I think we all need to be very, very afraid. I think these Democrats have too many shady crony-connections all over western Montana and I think it needs to stop! I think there is so much corruption in Anaconda, Missoula and Helena being perpetrated by the Democratic Party, these folks are looking like the Party of Hypocrisy and not much else!
To me, it looks like Susan Callaghan tampered with public records when she submitted her billing invoices via email to the Anaconda-Deer Lodge Chief Executive, in the absence of a contract. She was required to have a contract, by law. If you’re a government official, it’s a crime to circumvent the usual process in order to hide the paper trail of your illegal activities. It’s also a crime to submit false claims to a government agency.
I think it’s quite possible Callaghan tampered with a lot of public information during the second half of 2013, including county ordinances she was “codifying”. Susan Callaghan’s connection to Tyler Gernant is also very troubling. Gernant was apparently the managing partner of the law firm Callaghan & Gernant, supposedly keeping an eye on Susan Callaghan’s activities.
If Tyler Gernant knew what Callaghan was doing in Deer Lodge County…. and if he tampers with public records the way his law partner apparently did…. we can only imagine what Tyler Gernant has been doing since he was elected to his new position in Missoula County.
Tyler Gernant is in charge of massive amounts of public records in his new job; that should scare ALL OF US… especially Democrats in Missoula. (Disclaimer: I’m a fourth-generation Montanan… third-generation Missoulian, living for the past 15 years in Anaconda. I actually voted for some Democrats in 2008, and that’s the last time I voted for anyone at all. I pretty much vote NO to all politicians at this point.)
And what about Deer Lodge County Attorney Ben Krakowka and his family connection to the Lieutenant Governor? Sooner or later, some local government folks will have to answer questions about this stuff! And so will some government folks in Helena!
I think we are looking at some major hypocrisy on the part of public-servant lawyers in Montana. Lawyers, in general, seem to be causing the most trouble, statewide. Think about it: If Susan Callaghan was illegally-hired as a state prosecutor, and it looks like she was, then by all appearances, she and her cronies committed felonies, including obstruction of justice.
This lawyer Susan Callaghan was apparently codifying ordinances for Deer Lodge County, and prosecuting crimes on behalf of the State of Montana…. at the very same time she was apparently committing some serious crimes herself. How can that be considered ethical?? Where is there any justice in that? There is something very wrong with this picture, folks.