Montana Senator to Answer Questions Concerning DUI Guilty Plea, Role in Legislature
Tomorrow, October 29, Montana State Senator and Blackfeet Tribe member (D) Shannon Augare, is scheduled to answer questions from the public about his decision to plead guilty to various crimes, including driving under the influence and threatening a public official.
As a state senator Augare is currently a member of the Interim Law and Justice Committee, but according to committee chair (D) Margie MacDonald of Billings, it is still unclear if Augare will continue in that position.
"As I understand it, he is pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge, and that means that the ball is really in his court," MacDonald said. "There is no rule that prevents a legislator from serving who has been found guilty of a misdemeanor."
MacDonald said Augare isn't the first legislator to get in trouble for a crime while in office, and that he will be the one to make the tough decisions concerning his role in the legislature.
"There have been examples in the recent past, usually in cases involving alcohol, of legislators who have been charged or convicted of misdemeanors," MacDonald said. "This is really a decision that is up to Senator Augare."
MacDonald said she expects to hear a decision from Augare at tomorrow's press conference on whether or not he will step down from his position on the Law and Justice Committee.