State investigates commissioner for possible misconduct

The state Attorney General’s office is investigating whether a Gallatin County commissioner violated ethics rules by accepting gifts from a wealthy property developer who wants to build townhomes on a 10-acre property in Big Sky.

The issue came to light in a civil lawsuit filed against developer Loren Bough by a neighboring landowner, Packy Cronin. Commissioners must approve subdivisions.

Cronin’s attorney Brian Gallik asked the county attorney to investigate Commissioner Steve White’s relationship with Bough. Justice Department spokesman John Barnes says the sheriff asked the state to investigate.

Gallik obtained a March email in which White thanked Bough for several days of skiing at the private Yellowstone Club and then noted commissioners had met that morning about Cronin’s proposal for a 13-lot subdivision.

White told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle he has given no one special treatment.

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