Former legislator hired by Montana utility commission

Former Missoula legislator Brad Tschida has been hired as executive director of the Montana Public Service Commission.

Tschida, a former Republican House majority leader, will start work Jan. 17. The executive director is a position created in response to a 2021 legislative audit that found lax spending practices and an attempt to falsify financial documents at the state office. The new position pays $90,000 a year.

In 2022, Tschida led the “Integrity Project,” which pushed allegations of voter fraud in Missoula County’s 2020 elections. Those allegations proved unfounded.

Tschida also ran unsuccessfully in 2022 for state Senate. 

The directorship was previously held by Erik Wilkerson.

In a press release, Commissioner Jennifer Fielder said the directorship is a demanding job, which Tschida’s past experience as a legislator and work experience prepare him for.

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“We needed someone with the right mix of professional skills who is also capable of shouldering those types of demands,” Fielder said. “Mr. Tschida is very well-qualified with his legislative leadership experience and diverse background in management, finance, education, and public policy spanning over 40 years.

The five-member PSC balances monopoly utilities’ fixed rates of return with consumers’ need for reliable

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