Former Butte Judge Steven Kambich pleads guilty to bribery
By: Joe Nickel – Billings Gazhette – Jan. 13, 2012
MISSOULA — At a hearing in U.S. District Court on Friday morning, a city judge from Butte pleaded guilty to a single charge of bribery, telling Judge Dana L. Christensen, “What’s written there, sir, is what I did.”
Steven J. Kambich, a city judge for Butte/Silverbow County since 2004, was accused by federal prosecutors of accepting cash and check payments totaling more than $13,000 in exchange for leniency in at least 10 cases that came before him in 2008 and 2009.
In pleading guilty, Kambich acknowledged that he was aware that he faces up to 10 years imprisonment, up to $250,000 in fines, mandatory restitution, and supervised release of up to three years. Christensen set a sentencing hearing in the case for April 13 at 10 a.m. and released Kambich on his own recognizance until that hearing.
Kambich responded to questions from Christensen with little emotion and few words. When asked how he wished to plead in the case, Kambich simply responded, “Guilty, sir.”
After the hearing, he and his attorney, David Vicevich, declined comment.
Kambich’s plea agreement in the case did not recommend specific penalties, and Christensen referred the process for determining those penalties to a presentence investigation report to be undertaken by federal probation officers.