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HELENA — Political practices commissioner Dave Gallik said Tuesday that he is resigning from his post amid an escalating dispute with the four permanent staff members at the office.

The former Democratic legislator was appointed to the position last year by Gov. Brian Schweitzer after the Republican-led Senate rebuffed the governor's first pick for the post.

Gallik said he told the governor late Tuesday he would be resigning after he learned that office staff called the police with a complaint against him. Gallik said the police never contacted him and he doesn't know what the issue is about.

The events followed news reports that staff in the office believed Gallik improperly conducted private business from his state office. Gallik maintains that he kept his private law firm business separate.

Earlier in the day, Gallik said he expected a "chilly" work environment after the dispute went public, but he expected all would continue to work together.

Gallik said he changed his mind after he verified with police dispatchers that staff members had called them for an undisclosed reason. The former legislator said he and the staff members had not spoken at all Tuesday.

"I can't go back into that office with four people guns a blazing at me, particularly with these false accusations," he said.

Helena police did not return a call seeking comment. The political practices office staff could not be reached late Tuesday for comment.

The governor's office did not return a request seeking comment.

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