Montana Congressman blames wife for lawsuit against fire department

Rep Denny Rehberg
Rep Denny Rehberg
Rep. Denny Rehberg

Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg appears to be trying to distance himself from the lawsuit he filed against the Billings Fire Department for the way they handled a wildfire that burned some undeveloped land that he and his wife own. His lawsuit calls for the City to pay for damages on his property to “trees and ground cover” that occurred during the 1,100-acre fire in 2008.

Rehberg has announced that he is running for the Senate seat currently occupied by Senator Jon Tester.

Here is an excerpt from an article in the Billings Gazette:

Rehberg said in an interview Thursday that his wife runs the business and decided to file the lawsuit because the city would not extend the deadline for an insurance claim for the 1,200 scorched acres. He said the lawsuit is not against firefighters as his opponents claim, but rather challenges the decisions of city managers.

“It was never intended to be anything more than trying to protect her business, our business,” Rehberg said. “We are not blaming the firefighters in any way, shape or form.”

Tester’s campaign said Rehberg, if he wins the “frivolous lawsuit,” will reap a settlement paid for by Billings taxpayers. Tester told The Associated Press in an interview Friday that the lawsuit illustrated Rehberg’s self-interest.

“I think it fundamentally speaks to who he is: Somebody who is looking after himself,” Tester said.

Here is a list of articles at Wildfire Today that have previously covered this lawsuit.


Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “Montana Congressman blames wife for lawsuit against fire department”

  1. Wonder if there are any of those “Wildland Firefighters for Tester” bumper stickers still floating around Montana that helped sink former Senator Conrad Burns in 2006?


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