Missoula County Coverage

Aug 5, 2013 7:44 PM by Irina Cates - KPAX News

Grievances filed against Missoula Co. Sheriff

MISSOULA - The Missoula County Deputy Sheriffs' Association is contending that Sheriff Carl Ibsen changed the public information officer job description and didn't notify them in ahead of time.

But, Ibsen says he didn't do anything wrong when he assigned a new public information officer and moved former PIO Jason Johnson to the detectives division.

However, the Missoula County Deputy Sheriffs' Association disagrees and says Ibsen re-assigned Johnson when he found out he and another employee were going to run against him in the next election.

The three grievances include: The removal of Johnson as PIO; that his replacement was hired without going through the proper transfer or promotion process and that the changes were made to the PIO job description without notifying the union.

Ibsen says the PIO position is just an assignment and there is no job description, because it's not in the contract along with the other jobs. But the attorney for the association counters that there are documents called PIO job description.

Ibsen says Johnson knew he was going to be re-assigned before the meeting where Ibsen allegedly took revenge.

"He knew about it a week two weeks before that meeting where they informed me they were running for office and that I was supposedly now taking revenge for. So, I don't know. Bottom line I think: they believe I don't have the right to do what I did and I believe I do," says Sheriff Carl Ibsen.

"(Johnson) tried to be a good soldier and said he understood, but he didn't waive his right to protest it. And he wasn't going to get involved in some sort of an e-mail dispute with his boss," says Missoula County Deputy Sheriff's Association Attorney, Karl England.

The Missoula County Deputy Sheriffs' Association has less than a month to decide if they want an arbitrator to come in and make a decision on at least two of three grievances.

Ibsen added he's not sure if he's going to run for re-election.

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