Disability Rights Montana v. Charlie Brereton

Disability Rights Montana filed suit on November 16, 2022, against Montana’s Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) after the agency denied a public records request for materials related to the hiring of Mike Randol as the Medicaid and Health Services Executive Director. Randol directs three DPHHS divisions with a combined annual budget of over $2.7 billion and more than 1,100 state employees.

Disability Rights Montana requested the hiring materials on July 13, 2022. DPHHS categorically denied the request, in violation of Montana’s constitutional Right to Know, which guarantees broad public access to documents held by state agencies. The requested documents contain information about DPHHS’s hiring priorities and about Randol’s qualifications and experience. Randol previously oversaw Medicaid programs in Iowa and Kansas, both of which moved to privatization during his tenure. Privatization—or “managed care”—shifts Medicaid administration to private, for-profit entities. Montana used a managed care system in the 1990s, but reassumed Medicaid administration when managed care proved far worse for patients and providers.

Filings / Press

Complaint (Nov. 16, 2022)

Emily Schabacker, Montana health department sued after denying public records request, Billings Gazette (Nov. 16, 2022)

Darrell Ehrlick, Disability rights sues state for documents related to Medicaid director’s hiring, Daily Montanan (Nov. 16, 2022)

Motion for Summary Judgment (Nov. 16, 2022)

Brief in Support (Nov. 16, 2022)