Another controversy with Knudsen in the middle again

Jim Edwards
Thursday, December 30, 2021

I have a young granddaughter who worked at the Hokkaido restaurant at the time of the Rodney Smith incident.

Thank God she wasn’t working the night Smith blew a gasket, tipped over water glasses, showed his gun, and made threatening comments to wait staff. Smith is a member of the National Guard; he needs to be disciplined by his employer for his obscene and dangerous behavior.

I attended Smiths hearing Dec. 9. Attorney General Austin Knudsen should have had the courage to personally present his case to Judge Seeley. Instead, he sacrificed Derek Oestreicher who embarrassed himself as well as the AG’s office. Incidentally, Smith was much less defiant in the judge’s courtroom – he looked good in a mask.

Personally, I hate wearing a mask, I don’t wear one anymore unless it’s required, or if I am in a crowd of older people. I also hate the stop-sign in the middle of Townsend, on Highway 287 – but I always stop. I hate wearing a helmet when I ride my motorcycle, but when I ride in Canada, I wear one.

Let’s say I decided to run the stop-sign in Townsend and did so on Dec. 20, 2021; and let’s say I got a ticket. Now let’s say that this ridiculous stop sign in Townsend, was removed on March 20, 2022; and let’s say the hearing for my violation was July 1, 2022. Would you say that I was guilty or would you say, “No, the stop-sign doesn’t even exist now – how could running a nonexistent stop-sign be breaking the law?”

This is exactly the logic Knudsen used in dismissing Smith’s concealed carry offense.

This is the second time in two months that Knudsen has been at the forefront of an incident where the AG’s office inappropriately inserted itself, much worse, where lies were told, and the facts show the lies were told by the AG’s office. We’re not even done with the first year of Knudsen’s tenure.

This stinks.

Does anyone recall something like this happening even once during the eight years when Tim Fox was our Attorney General? Or during Steve Bullock, Mike McGrath or Marc Racicot’s AG tenures? Integrity, competence, and honesty should be the three pillars upon which our Attorney General’s Office operates. Under Austin Knudsen, none exists – instead, there is an odor coming from the AG’s Office. And Mr. Oestreicher, you should resign, your professional reputation is being irreparably harmed.

I believe, “we the people”, should start the process of removing Knudsen as Attorney General, his performance stinks.

(Jim Edwards lives in Helena.)