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Judge slams ATP attorney for "unsupported" claims

By Associated Press
Published On: Jun 27 2013 12:56:39 PM MDT
AMERICAN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP
HELENA, Mont. -

A federal judge chastised the attorney for two political consultants following insinuations of wrongdoing by a state official involved in the release of a trove of documents connected to a conservative group.
    
During a Thursday hearing in Billings, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy harshly criticized attorney Quentin Rhoades for offering no proof to back allegations that former Commissioner of Political Practices Jim Murry "secretly" gave American Tradition Partnership documents to the news media.
    
Molloy also chided Rhoades for suggesting the state should have contacted his clients before the release.
    
Rhoades' clients, Christian and Allison LeFer, sued the state over the matter but now want the case dismissed so they can refile in state court.
    
Attorneys for Montana oppose dismissal and want a judgment. A decision from Molloy is pending.