Lenington's Offer Denied - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Lenington's Offer Denied

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BILLINGS -

Yellowstone County Commissioners met on Tuesday over the controversy about Treasurer and School Superintendent, Max Lenington. He is under scrutiny over what many are calling a racist email he sent from his government email account.

Lenington used the "n" word in what he said was a private email meant for his sister back in 2012. The firestorm began when the Billings Gazette recently made a public information request and found the email. Now several county officials are reviewing legal measures for Lenington's removal.

Yellowstone County Commissioners voted 3-0 to deny Lenington's conditional offer to retire from his position only if commissioners would agree to pay him one year's salary of $90,000. "We have no authority to remove an office holder. The county attorney is obviously doing his deal with investigating, but frankly the county commissioners set budgets," said Yellowstone County Commissioner, Jim Reno.

Shortly after the decision, Lenington issued a statement saying he will not seek re-election at the end of his term, but also goes on to say his decision to retire is fueled by coverage of the liberal, left wing news media. He also says, "Since these news media outlets cannot debate the narrative of my letters, they have proceeded to attack and slander me as the messenger in every way possible." However, Yellowstone County Attorney, Scott Twito says the option for voters to re-call Lenington before his term is up is being reviewed. "The recall statue is very specific as to what grounds the electorate can re-call a public official. We're just determining whether there is that possibility. It's physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, a violation of oath of office, official misconduct, or a criminal offence enumerated in Title 45," said Twito.

In response to public scrutiny, the political and public affairs consulting firm, Hilltop Public Solutions, conducted a survey on the issue. Of the 1,605 Yellowstone county voters surveyed, 63% said they believed Lenington should be removed from office for his comments, while 54% say they believed he should resign.

KULR-8 did ask the Billings Gazette if they had anything to say in response to Lenington's statement about attacks and slander and they said they have no response and they believe their journalism speaks for itself. Twito also says he hopes to present the county commissioner's council next week, with the civil division's findings.

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