Judge receives requests to make Gianforte mugshot public - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Judge receives requests to make Gianforte mugshot public

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BOZEMAN -

UPDATE: Gallatin Co. Attorney Marty Lambert says neither he nor Gianforte's lawyer, Todd Whipple, object to the Congressman's mugshot being made public.

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Requests to publicize Rep. Greg Gianforte's mugshot are now in the hands of a Gallatin County district judge.

An aid for Judge Holly Brown says the requests, filed by ABC FOX Montana and several other news outlets, just reached Judge Brown's desk this morning. 

Gianforte was booked (photographed and fingerprinted) on Aug. 25, for the misdemeanor assault of Ben Jacobs. Jacobs is a Guardian reporter who was covering the Montana special election last May. The night before the May 25 election, Gianforte 'body slammed' Jacob at a campaign rally. 

Gianforte pleaded guilty in June and was sentenced to community service and anger management classes.

The Congressman's lawyers initially contested his booking, saying a mugshot could hurt their client in future campaigns. A judge ruled against this and ordered Gianforte to be fingerprinted and have his mugshot taken. 

In filing an application for the release of confidential criminal justice information, the county attorney must advice all of the affected parties of the request to make information public, then write a letter of recommendation to the judge.

In this case, Gallatin Co. Attorney Marty Lambert had to advise Gianforte on the requests for his mugshot, then write a letter to Judge Brown supporting or denying the release of the picture.

In Montana mugshots are public record accessible by journalists, except in Gallatin County. Lambert disagrees with the order making them public record, which he expressed to Attorney General Tim Fox. Lambert says Fox did not respond and he does not have to release the mugshots.

Now that Judge Brown has received the requests, she must do an in camera review, which means a private hearing excluding the public, and then she will issue an order.

Judge Brown's clerk did not have a time frame of how long this could take.

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