More Sudden Departures from State Commerce Department

by jhwygirl

Supermontanareporter John S. Adams, of the Great Falls Tribune, reports that long-time director of the tourism bureau, housed under the Department of Commerce, was suddenly without employment Friday afternoon.

Was she fired? As Adams posts in his not-blogged-often-enough The Lowdown, Shirley Baumgart – who had been in her position since 2002 – had not told anyone of her plans to leave. Staff and tourist industry people throughout the state were shocked of the news.

Recently appointed director of the Department of Commerce, Dore Schwinden, confirmed on Friday that Ms. Baumgart had left her position, but would not confirm the circumstances.

Baumgart’s department is the third high-level departure from the Department of Commerce in recent months. Director Schwinden, in fact, is very newly appointed – the former director, Tony Preite, retired August 1st.

David Cole is the third sudden departure, who’s abrupt resignation made headlines in March when Cole told Lee Newspapers that he was forced out of his job by the Schweitzer administration. Cole said he was pushed out after he responded to a request from a GOP lawmaker regarding grants to local communities that Schweitzer had frozen. The governor’s office denied playing a role in Cole’s ouster.

I’m recalling sudden departures at the end of 2009 by the long-time director of Fish and Game, and also Health and Human Services – both on the same day. There were news articles….can’t seem to remember their names, though

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