Daines: Senate Confirms Alme for Montana’s U.S. Attorney

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today released the following statement after the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Billings’s attorney Kurt Alme to be the next U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana. 

“Kurt Alme is the right man for the job and I’m thrilled to see bipartisan support for this well-qualified public servant,”Daines stated. “I look forward to working with Kurt on behalf of Montanans.”

Congress organized the District of Montana as one judicial district in 1889.  It is the largest geographical federal court district in the continental United States. The President of the United States nominates U.S. Attorneys based on the Senator’s recommendation. Nominees must then be confirmed by the full U.S. Senate. The United States Attorney is the chief federal law enforcement officer in their district and is also involved in civil litigation where the United States is a party. 

On September 7, the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary favorably reported out Alme’s nomination. The nomination now awaits action on the U.S. Senate floor.  

Kurt Alme has received widespread support from across Montana to be the next U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana: 

Jesse Laslovich, former Montana State Representative and Chief Legal Counsel for the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance: “Ultimately, Mr. Alme’s experience, demeanor, independence, and commitment to fighting crime in Montana will make him an effective U.S. Attorney fighting for us. I hope his nomination transcends the partisan rancor and gridlock in Washington, D.C.” Click HERE to download Laslovich’s letter.

Lorraine Gallinger, former 30-year veteran of the Montana U.S. Attorney’s Office and First Assistant: “Without question, Kurt is the most uniquely qualified person for this position.  My career spanned 30 years, and during that time, none of those appointed to the position of U.S. Attorney match Kurt’s qualifications or experience.  This is wholly reflected in his resume’, and I will not repeat what is obviously readily apparent.” Click HERE to read Gallinger’s letter of support.

Liz Moore, Executive Director Montana Nonprofit Association: “Senator, like you and me, Mr. Alme has a love for Montana. He has dedicated his career to serving our great state and ensuring our children are safe and our future strong. With tremendous respect for him and complete confidence in his capabilities and suitability for the role, I thank you and am proud to endorse your nomination.” Click HERE to read Moore’s letter of support.

Ernst Weyand, Federal Bureau of Investigation: “As an AUSA, I found Kurt to be an exceptional prosecutor who deftly managed numerous complex cases simultaneously and aggressively prosecuted the most deserving criminals. As First Assistant, Kurt oversaw the day to day operations of one of the busiest and most productive USAOs in the United States. Much of this measured productivity was a result of the federal government’s responsibility in investigating and prosecuting crimes in Indian Country (IC). Kurt was a steadfast and strong proponent of aggressive federal law enforcement action and the protection of victims on Montana’s Indian Reservations.” Click HERE to downlad Weyand’s letter of support. 

Paul D. Odegaard, Odegaard Braukmann Law, PLLC: “I firmly believe that Kurt is above political partisanship and that the critical decisions he would make as Montana’s chief federal prosecutor will be guided by what he believes is right for the people of Montana. I sincerely hope you will continue to encourage the President to formally nominate Kurt to be the United States Attorney for the State of Montana.” Click HERE to read Odegaard’s letter of support.

David M. Wagner, Crowley Fleck PLLP: “The United States attorney must exercise good judgment in a way that is thoughtful, fair, and ethical with respect to both the victim of the crime and the criminal defendant. Kurt’s academic, professional, and personal life provide he will bring these characteristics to the job.” Click HERE to read Wagner’s letter of support. 

Kevin F. Phillips, former Attorney and Chief Investigator for the Montana State Auditor’s Office: “I am a lifelong Democrat, I have never crossed party lines for this type of endorsement. However, Montana deserves someone of high caliber for the position of U.S. Attorney, and for this reason, I request that you give serious consideration to Kurt Alme. He will do Montana proud.” Click HERE to read Phillips’ letter of support. 

Jessica T. Fehr, Moulton Bellingham PC: “Kurt is a talented attorney and demonstrated leader in our community. Kurt would be an asset to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Montana.” Click HERE to read Fehr’s letter of support.

Kathy Van Tighem, Counselor at Great Falls High School: “Over the past twenty-eight years, I have had the pleasure of working with Kurt in a number of capacities, as well as maintaining a supportive and inspiring friendship. During this time, I have found Kurt to be mission-centered, curious and concerned, and always dedicated to the duty at hand. When Kurt shared that he has the opportunity to serve our state and county in the capacity of U.S. Attorney my first thought that was that he is the perfect person for the job.” Click HERE to read Tighem’s letter of support. 

Tim Fox, Attorney General of Montana: “Many people have called me in recent months to let me know that they would be interested in this appointment. Those who have called are all good people and good lawyers, but in my opinion none of them are as perfectly suited for the job as Kurt. Kurt has my full support, and I commend him to you and to the President.” Click HERE to download Fox’s letter of support. 

Fred Thomas, Senate Majority Leader – Montana:“It is a great honor to highly recommend Kurt Alme to the position of United States Attorney for the District of Montana. Kurt is uniquely qualified for this position. His experience, knowledge and respect for the rule of law in Montana and the United States has vastly impressed me.” Click HERE to download Thomas’ letter of support.

Scott Twito, Yellowstone County Attorney: “Kurt, with his experience and leadership, can turn this around and faithfully execute the laws of the United States. But more importantly, he can work to protect all Montanans. That is what we need in our next United States Attorney.” Click HERE to download Twito’s letter of support. 

Eric Wolff, former U.S. Supreme Court clerk, Partner Perkins Cole Firm: “I worked with Kurt as a fellow Assistant U.S. Attorney in Billings from 2005-2009. At one time, he and I both interviewed as potential candidates to replace U.S. Attorney Bill Mercer. It is a testament to my high regard for Kurt that even though we were once rivals for that job, I am extremely pleased to support him.” Click HERE to download Wolff’s letter of support.  

Dan Vierthaler, 26-year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation: (FBI):Kurt’s nomination is truly an opportunity for Montana. As a working professional, as a peer, I have deep respect and admiration for Kurt and the values that he represents. Knowing that an individual of Kurt’s caliber is under consideration for such an important position bodes well for the leadership of Montana. I extend my complete support for Kurt’s nomination as U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana.” Click HERE to download Vierthaler’s letter of support.

Kim Gillan, former Region 8 HHS Director, former Montana State Legislator: “Kurt would bring to the U.S. Attorney’s Office both excellent professional skills and legal knowledge—but also a deep understanding of the current challenges facing our state in terms of substance abuse (and its devastating impact) from his current efforts as head of the Yellowstone Girls and Boys Ranch Foundation. This unique background will serve the U.S. Attorney’s Office well and help Montana tackle this major challenge!” Click HERE to download Gillan’s letter of support. 

J. Martin Burke, Professor Emeritus and former Dean, University of Montana School of Law: Just as Mr. Alme has distinguished himself in his prior professional work, I predict that, if nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, he will prove himself an outstanding U.S. Attorney for Montana.  Mr. Alme knows and loves Montana and cares deeply about the people and institutions of our state.  He is gifted intellectually, is an articulate advocate for the rule of law, and has the experience, skills, and personal attributes necessary to conduct the office of U.S. Attorney from day one in a highly competent and ethical manner. Click HERE to download Burke’s letter of support.  

Donald Sterhan, President & CEO Montain Plains Equity Group: “It is a pleasure to acknowledge the work now underway with you and President Trump to consider qualified candidates for United States Attorney, District of Montana. I believe this process is a welcome and overdue opportunity to appoint an individual in Montana that possesses exceptional legal skills, a strong work ethic, and a core set of values that will elevate the image and integrity of this office. Accordingly, in unqualified fashion, I urge you to seriously consider the appointment of Mr. Kurt Alme of Billings, Montana.” Click HERE to download Sterhan’s letter of support.

Mike Chavers, CEO Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch: “As an executive with over 25 years of experience in a variety of aspects of juvenile justice, mental health and child welfare services, I’m delighted to write a letter on behalf of Kurt Alme as nominee for the position of United States Attorney for the District of Montana.  I believe Kurt is highly qualified for the position, and would be a great asset to the office of the U.S. Attorney and the children and families of Montana.” Click HERE to download Chavers’ letter of support. 

Edwin Eck, former Dean of the University of Montana School of Law: “Finally like Mr. Alme, I have had the opportunity to serve as an Assistant United States Attorney. In that role, I learned about the power of prosecutorial discretion and its corresponding responsibility. I have seen Mr. Alme exercise his discretion in a prudent fashion. If Mr. Alme is appointed to the office of United States Attorney, I predict that you and the President will be proud of your decision. Mr. Alme will thoughtfully shoulder that office’s responsibilities.” Click HERE to download Eck’s letter of support. 

Paul McLean, Retired U.S. Probation Officer Supervisor: “I am honored to write this letter in full and complete support for your selection of Kurt Alme to fill the pending position of U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana. I worked in the U.S. Court system for the District of Montana in Billings, Montana for 25 years as a U.S. Probation Officer as a Probation Officer Supervisor for the last 11 of those years. I retired from my service to the U.S. Courts at the end of 2015. During my tenure with the federal government, I had the opportunity to work with Kurt for 12 years.” Click HERE to download McLean’s letter of support.   

R. Rodney Trahan, VP of Development, Partnership With Native Americans: “I am writing to convey my sincere support in your referral of Mr. Kurt Alme to the President for nomination as U.S. Attorney. Mr. Alme is a person of remarkably high character and intellect, and as such I am hopeful that Senator Daines will support his confirmation upon your nomination.”  

Michael Lahr, former Assistant U.S. Attorney: “Even more importantly for me, Kurt’s conviction to do the right thing in all circumstances is the hallmark of his professionalism. His deep faith and compassion for others is always evident, and I have come to rely on Kurt’s judgment and integrity when addressing matters both legal and personal. Click HERE to download Lahr’s letter of support. 

Kory Larsen, Deputy County Attorney for Cascade County and former Special Assistant United States Attorney: “Kurt helped me gain my sea legs with the United States Attorney’s Office after I was appointed as a SAUSA and was involved in many file reviews of my pending caseload with that office. He assisted me on several occasions in formulating briefs of cases on appeal and was always ready to answer phone calls and emails with questions about cases.” Click HERE to download Larsen’s letter of support.  

Scott Darkenwald, former Chief of Staff for Montana Attorney General Tim Fox and Deputy Director of the Montana Department of Justice:“I can’t imagine a better choice to be Montana’s next U.S. Attorney for all the reasons I have tried to articulate. Kurt would serve our Nation and our State in a way ALL Montanans would be proud of and thankful for, of that I am absolutely confident.” Click HERE to download Darkenwald’s letter of support.

William Hritsco, P.C., Hritsco Law: “I want to encourage the appointment of Kurt Alme of Billings, Montana as the United States Attorney for the District of Montana. The best interests of the federal government and the citizens of our state will be advanced with Kurt’s leadership in such an important position.” Click HERE to download Hritsco’s letter of support.     

Kris McLean, former 30-year Veteran of the Montana U.S. Attorney’s Office and First Assistant:“Mr. Alme tackled all issues with a very thoughtful, diligent and thorough approach. He is a very intelligent, analytic lawyer who is highly respected by the Court and opposing counsel in Montana.” Click HERE and HERE to download McLean’s letter of support. 

Barbara Ranf, former Director of the Montana Department of Administration and Chief of Staff to Governor Martz: “In working with Kurt, I always found him highly engaged. His interactions were always timely and the information he provided was always thorough, thoughtful and balanced. Kurt handled challenging decisions and used his problem solving abilities and decisive nature to successfully address issues. These are traits that I believe would serve well in the position.” Click HERE to download Ranf’s letter of support.

Wendy Keating, former Commissioner of Labor for Montana:Kurt has a wide range of successful experience that not only demonstrates his ability to lead a complex legal agency, but also showcases his impressive record of diligence and wisdom in his work, which is consistently successful. His awareness of the issues that are prevalent in the state of Montana and his understanding of those challenges are extremely important to the future of our society. Mr. Alme would be a valuable asset to all citizens in the role of Montana’s United States Attorney.” Click HERE to download Keating’s letter of support. 

Brendan Beatty, Senior Counsel for the Montana Department of Revenue:He is a true statesman with an incredible legal mind and unquestionable character. Mr Alme’s diverse experience, combined with his character and integrity, make him the best possible candidate to be Montana’s next United States Attorney.” Click HERE to download Beatty’s letter of support.

Albert J. Vukasin, President/CEO Bear Paw Credit Union:“As a CEO, often times when I meet people I ponder the type of employee they would make. After visiting with Kurt the first time it was easy to see he was a true leader, a motivator for change and a truly kind and compassionate human being.” Click HERE to download Vukasin’s letter of support. 

Cory Swanson, County Attorney for Broadwater County:“There is no better candidate for the job of United States Attorney for the District of Montana than Kurt Alme. He has the experience of a leader who ran this office effectively, as well as the perspective of an outside observer who can envision new achievements. Kurt is a brilliant and competent attorney. More importantly, he is a man of integrity and compassion.” Click HERE to download Swanson’s letter of support. 

Robert Bell, Partner with Reep, Bell, Laird & Jasper, P.C.: “I firmly believe that Kurt would make an outstanding U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana. He has demonstrated all of the qualities important to this role: Legal acumen, managerial skills, leadership, commitment to service, and the capacity to make tough decisions. Kurt is uniquely qualified for the position as someone who has experience in all realms of the practice of law, as well as leadership roles at the highest levels in state and federal government.” Click HERE to download Bell’s letter of support.

Peter Helland, Helland Law Firm:“Having known Kurt Alme personally and professionally since the beginning of his legal career, I can confidently state he has both the professional and personal qualifications to be Montana’s next U.S. Attorney.”Click HERE to download Helland’s letter of support.

John Nielsen, former Special Agent, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division:“I wholeheartedly endorse Kurt for your consideration and nomination as the next United States Attorney for the state of Montana.  Kurt will bring energy, determination and knowledge to the job.  Kurt will be an advocate for crime victim’s rights as well as pursue the prosecution of persons in violation of Federal criminal statutes.  It is my hope that this letter helps you understand his character.” Click HEREto download Nielsen’s letter of support. 

Marcia Good, Senior Counsel to the Director Office of Tribal Justice, U.S. Department of Justice:“Senator Daines, you could not find a better person who is more well-suited to leading the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Montana through this new administration.” Click HERE to download Good’s letter of support. 

Tony Harbaugh, Sheriff Custer County:“Kurt has a resume that is second to none. He has a reputation that is above reproach, and he would represent not only the people who appoint him to the position, but he would represent Montana as one of their best.” Click HERE to download Harbaugh’s letter of support.

James Seykora, former head of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force in the U.S. Attorney’s Office:“It takes a proven leader, and Kurt is that type of person, to not only get the job done, but also make you proud that you nominated him to this lofty position of chief federal law enforcement officer in Montana.” Click HERE to download Seykora’s letter of support. 

Kenneth Bray, former resident agent in charge with the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives:“He is respected throughout all quarters of the criminal justice system in Montana. I am confident that he would serve honorably in this position and would be an effective advocate for the citizens of Montana.” Click HERE to download Bray’s letter of support. 

Jimmy Patelis, Retired Chief United States Probation Officer/House Representative H.S. 52, State Legislator:“I firmly believe that Kurt has all the attributes, skills, knowledge, abilities, experience and education to excel as the United States Attorney for Montana.” Click HERE to download Patelis’ letter of support.

Dave Jackson, Jackson, Murdo & Grant, P.C.:“Kurt’s character, integrity, skills and ability to work hard and to accomplish what is required for any task presented to him are excellent. I believe that Kurt, through his education, training and experience, is uniquely qualified of the position of the U.S. Attorney.” Click HERE to download Jackson’s letter of support. 

William Mercer, Partner with Holland & Hart, LLP and former Montana United States Attorney: “It should go without saying that I could spend a great deal more time describing Kurt’s strengths and relevant experience. I will be happy to do so if you wish. However, for now, I will simply say that the Trump Administration and the people of Montana would benefit from Kurt’s service as US. Attorney. I know of no better candidate for the job and hope he has the opportunity to serve in the position.” Click HERE to download Mercer’s letter of support.

Andrew Rio, President & CEO Little Horn State Bank: As a victim of several crimes prosecuted by Mr. Kurt Alme, I am happy to recommend him for the position of United States Attorney. I have known Mr. Alme for the last eight years, both as a Board member of Family Promise and as Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA).” Click HERE to download Rio’s letter support. 

Jani McCall, President, Consulting with Communities:“Kurt Alme is one of the most outstanding individuals I have ever known and he will be exceptional as Montana’s next United States Attorney.” Click HERE to download McCall’s letter of support. 

Peter Habein, Crowley Fleck:“For the past 20 years or so, I have served our firm as general counsel, and for the last 10 years, I have served the bar as a member and now chair of the Ethics Committee of the State Bar of Montana. I hope, therefore, that when I say that Kurt is one of the most conscientiously ethical lawyers I know, it carries some weight. Kurt is scriplous in his observeance of ethical standards, both for himself and for the organizations he has led. His adherence to high ethical standards in no small measure contributes to the integrity and honesty for which he is universally admired.” Click HERE to download Habein’s letter of support. 

Aidan Myhre, Chairman Helena Public Schools Board of Trustees:“His nomination for the position would be beyond reproach.  I do not believe you will find a more distinguished candidate for the United States Attorney for the District of Montana than Kurt Alme.  Kurt will be an outstanding U. S. Attorney.” Click HERE to download Myhre’s letter of support. 

April Baiamonte, Friend of 35 Years: “I have been truly blessed to share a 35 year friendship with Kurt. Through high school and college, marriage and children, career changes and the occasional bump in the road – Kurt has always been there. And I couldn’t be prouder to write you in support of his nomination as our newest U.S. Attorney for the State of Montana.” Click HERE to download Baiamonte’s letter of support.

About Kurt Alme: 

Alme is a Great Falls native and graduated high school from Custer County District High School in Miles City. Alme graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado with his bachelors in business, cum laude from Harvard Law School and is a Harry S. Truman Scholar.

Alme previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and then First Assistant in the U.S. Attorney’s Office where he prosecuted cases in district court and argued them before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Additionally he served as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell. Alme served as Director of the Montana Department of Revenue where he oversaw all of its major civil litigation. Alme joined Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation in 2010 and in 2013, assumed the role as President and General Counsel. Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation supports the treatment of Montana youth suffering from mental health issues and substance abuse.   

He has also has served as a volunteer with St. Vincent Healthcare Board of Directors; Attorney General’s Intelligence Advisory Board; Billings Gazette Editorial Board; University of Montana Law School Tax Institute Advisory Committee; St. John’s Lutheran Ministries Board; MSU-Billings Law and Justice Advisory Committee; and the Mental Health Association.