Montana Judge Lauds Tester In Ethics Report

Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. — A former Montana supreme court justice is giving U.S. Sen. Jon Tester high marks in a new ethics review.

Tester promised during his 2006 election to have Montana judges conduct periodic ethics reviews of his office.

Former justice William Leaphart says in a report from earlier this month that he inspected Tester's personal records, potential conflicts of interest, gifts, foreign travel and other activities.

The judge wrote that the Democratic senator and his staff perform admirably in rejecting gifts. He says the office is very meticulous about the policy and donates most gifts to charity.

The judge concludes that he found the office to be transparent with its record keeping and in compliance with ethical standards.

Tester is facing a tough election challenge from Republican U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg.