Montana judge praises Tester's ethics standards

Helena judge William Leaphart conducts Senator's latest ethics review

(U.S. SENATE) – Living up to his commitment to bring the highest ethical standards to the U.S. Senate, Jon Tester today posted online his latest ethics review by a Montana judge.

Retired Montana Supreme Court Justice William Leaphart of Helena recently conducted the review after carefully examining Tester’s office policies and records, Senate ethics rules and other requested documents.

“I have no reservations in concluding that Senator Tester is conducting the affairs of his public office with appropriate transparency and in complete compliance with ethical standards,” Leaphart wrote after reviewing Tester’s office.  
Leaphart’s independent review, conducted at no charge and no cost to taxpayers, is available online HERE.

Tester, the first member of Congress to post his daily public schedule online, is also the only member to voluntarily request regular ethics reviews of himself and his staff.

Leaphart noted that Tester "not only complies with the Senate Rules, but also takes it upon himself to adopt internal office rules which are more stringent than the Senate Rules."

Tester does not allow himself to be lobbied by former employees who become registered federal lobbyists.  He also bars his employees from receiving outside gifts or travel.

Leaphart's report notes that Tester last year directed an employee to write a personal check for $35.95 to pay down the national debt after the employee mistakenly had a meal paid for by someone else.

“I appreciate Judge Leaphart taking the time to make sure this office is accountable to all Montanans because it belongs to all Montanans,” Tester said.  “I take pride in leading the way for better transparency and more accountability in Congress, and this review serves as a reminder that all public servants have an obligation to keep raising the bar as high as possible when it comes to ethics standards.”

Tester, who introduced the landmark Public Online Information Act, told a Senate hearing this week that his bipartisan bill to require all U.S. Senate candidates to file their quarterly campaign finance reports electronically will “bring the Senate into the 21st century.”