District Judge Huss resigns

   An Eastern Montana District Judge is confronting a sexual harassment complaint from a previous employee and has resigned from his position.

By Lori Kesinger

   District Judge George W. Huss of Forsyth sent Chief Justice Mike McGrath his letter of resignation April 21. He stated he was resigning his position and retiring as the 16th Judicial District Judge effective January 1, 2016. Huss felt this would allow more than enough time for the Judicial Nomination Commission and Governor Bullock to appoint a replacement.

   Huss’ resignation follows a sexual harassment complaint filed with the Montana Human Rights Bureau (HRB) in February 2014 by a former court reporter. Huss allegedly made unwanted romantic advances towards the female employee beginning in 2013, the same year he took office.

   Huss denied sexually harassing the woman. He attempted  to resolve the dispute by entering an agreement entitling the woman to more than $744,000.

   The State Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) could be held responsible for the amount because Montana code asserts the state has a responsibility to defend and indemnify its employees. The OCA argues it does not have a duty to defend or indemnify Huss against the complain as they did not provide him a defense, and he attempted to settle claims on his own.