Posted: Nov 1, 2012 12:36 PM by Drew Trafton - MTN News
HELENA - The Montana Office of the Commissioner of Political Practices in Helena was broken into on Wednesday night.
Commissioner Jim Murry says he was alerted of a break-in by a staffer who received a call from Capitol complex security guards.
The break-in happened sometime before 10 p.m. on Wednesday, which is when the staffer was alerted that the front door was found ajar and a light had been turned on in a basement room used to store archived records.
The office is located in an old house on the Capitol campus, and Murry says it's a well known fact that security is minimal.
According to its mission statement, the goal of the office is "to monitor and to enforce, in a fair and impartial manner, campaign practices and campaign finance disclosure, lobbying disclosure, business interest disclosure of statewide and state district candidates, elected state officials, and state department directors, ethical standards of conduct for legislators, public officers, and state employees, and to investigate legitimate complaints that arise concerning any of the foregoing."
Murry says the motive behind the break-in remains a mystery.
"We're trying, right now, to determine if anything is missing and, and what might have been looked at or, you know, perhaps even stolen," said Murry. "But we just don't know at this point, it's too early, it's too early to comment. But, the building was entered, there's no question about that."
Murry says he spent a good portion of Thursday morning answering questions from the Helena Police Department, which is currently the only agency investigating the break-in.