By Matt Volz 

Breaking news: Chairman ousted in PSC coup


HELENA — A Republican member of the Public Service Commission has joined with the Democratic minority to oust the GOP chairman and take over as leader.

Friday's hearing started as a discussion on whether to reprimand vice chairman Brad Molnar over a recent trip Washington, D.C.

Democratic commissioner Gail Gutsche and Republican Travis Kavulla say chairman Bill Gallagher knew about the trip but he and Molnar kept it a secret from the other three members.

The meeting devolved into a heated argument before a recess was hastily called.

Upon return, Kavulla and Gutsche voted to remove Gallagher as chairman. Gutsche also voted to remove Gallagher on behalf of absent Democratic member of the commission, John Vincent.

Molnar immediately resigned as vice chairman. Kavulla was then named the new chairman on a 3-2 vote.

Kavulla's sprawling district includes Hill and Blaine counties.


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