Maybe we should start a Republican police blotter for Republican leadership. First up is Republican Senate President Jason Ellsworth (R-Hamilton). On May 2, Ellsworth’s girlfriend, Lindsey Murolo, was granted a temporary order of protection by a court in Helena. There will be a formal hearing on July 17. She alleges that Ellsworth abused and threatened her over the course of their six-year relationship. The Montana Free Press Reports:
“In her handwritten attestation, Murolo said that during that incident, Ellsworth went outside to grab his Glock pistol and ‘came in and loaded it, was waving it around then laid his 300 pound self on top of me trying to force me to shoot him. I was crying begging him to leave and my daughter was right above us upstairs in her room. She heard him yelling and was scared.’”
This was not Ellsworth’s first encounter with police. In August of 2021, Ellsworth pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in Broadwater County following an incident when he was stopped for driving 88 MPH in a construction zone. After being stopped, Ellsworth allegedly tried to say he was exempt from the law, because he was hurrying to a legislative meeting the next day. The legislature was not in session at the time. Ellsworth then threatened the officer that he was going to call Republican Attorney General Austin Knudsen to intervene.
In pleading guilty to obstruction of justice, Ellsworth was fined $350 and given a one year deferred sentence. If you are thinking that’s a pretty light sentence, we feel obligated to point out the Broadwater County Attorney at the time, Cory Swanson, is a long time Republican activist and served as Republican Candidate for Governor Rick Hill’s attorney in the 2012 campaign.
In other police news, Gov. Greg Gianforte appointee and Montana Labor Commissioner Laurie Esau resigned her position on July 9th after being arrested in Missoula on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence. She was also charged with obstruction of justice. Esau was stopped after being involved in a hit and run accident. The Montana Free Press reports the arresting officer charged that Esau was uncooperative and exhibited a “blank, dull state, belligerent attitude, heavily slurred speech and significant odor of alcoholic beverage.” Esau was uncooperative, the officer also wrote, failing to follow directions, grasping a fence, and attempting to walk through a gate into her yard, causing the officer to place her in handcuffs.
Can’t make this stuff up.
And let’s not forget this: