Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (2) – 2/9/21
On Feb. 4, longtime Gallatin County Sherriff Brian Gootkin was unanimously approved to take charge of Montana’s Department of Corrections. Gootkin served in the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office for 27 years and was nominated for his new position by Gov. Greg Gianforte in January. In 2017, Gianforte was charged for assaulting a Guardian reporter—according to the Montana Free Press, Gootkin claimed the charge “was not warranted because the injuries to the victim in this case were not serious, life threatening or deadly.” Shortly after, Gootkin testified regarding a $250 donation to the Gianforte campaign—Gootkin asserted at the time that the donation was unrelated to the assault investigation. At a Jan. 11 Gallatin County Commission meeting, Deputy Sheriff Dan Springer was named interim sheriff and will serve the remainder of Gootkin’s term, which ends in 2022. The county accepted applications for the permanent position through Feb. 5 and will begin interviews Feb. 15.