Lawyers stall as judge decides whether to unseal key boat crash records
BILLINGS, Mont. – As a Montana judge decides whether to unseal key records about Congressman Dennis Rehberg’s alcohol-involved boat crash on Flathead Lake, Montanans are wondering whether Rehberg will deliver transparency or excuses.
The 2009 crash severely injured Rehberg, state senator Greg Barkus, and three other passengers—all of whom had been drinking. One of Rehberg’s young employees spent 10 days in a coma.
The Associated Press reports that Barkus’ attorney, is requesting “an extra 30 days to respond” to a query by District Judge John McKeon to determine whether records should be unsealed.
But Rehberg’s campaign manager said in early October that Rehberg himself “has no problem with the documents being released at all.”
“If Congressman Rehberg truly has no problem with these key documents being released at all, then will he join Montanans in calling for full transparency about his crash?” said Montanans for Tester campaign manager Preston Elliott. “Some lawyers are trying to throw a wrench into transparency, but Congressman Rehberg has an opportunity to come clean about what happened—not give Montana more excuses.”
The Associated Press reports that the Flathead County Attorney says any released report “should exlcude any description of chemical or alcohol use by Barkus, or any information about his financial or marital status.”
Montana troopers arrested Barkus’ attorney, Todd Glazier, in May for drunk driving.