Ravalli County Coverage

Jan 21, 2014 8:06 PM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News

Ravalli treasurer says shes "not a criminal"

HAMILTON - Backed into a corner by allegations of mismanagement, Ravalli County's Treasurer fired back today, pointing the finger at county commissioners and declaring she "won't be treated" like a criminal.

What had been billed as a meeting to update the financial problems facing the Ravalli County Treasurer's Office turned into something entirely different this morning, as Treasurer Valerie Stamey opened fire, accusing some of the county commissioners of corruption and the media for being "orchestrated" to attack her, "My office is a crime scene of past illegal activity. I have contacted and requested a full investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

With that opening salvo, Stamey, claimed to be the victim of an "orchestrated and vile campaign" to discredit her, singling out Commissioner Iman, "J.R. Iman requested to me to stop asking questions and not talk to other commissioners as I attempted to gain access to the accounts of the Treasury Office at First Interstate Bank. J.R. Iman was disturbed that apparently I was attempting to do my job. It is time to leave my personal life alone. I am not a criminal and I will not be treated as one. Thank you to the citizens of Ravalli County who have demanded a county government operated by the rule of law and not by the rule of the media."

And with that, Stamey stalked out of the room, leaving commissioners wondering what they'd just witnessed, "Frankly it's not what I was expecting," said Greg Chilcott, Ravalli Co. Commissioner.

People then accused of Stamey of "deflecting" the concern over her operation to others, and called on the board for a full investigation.

"The allegations that were made today were pretty bold. And I don't know how we get around going to some sort of third party investigation. Whether it is private consultation, an auditor from the private sector or we go to the Attorney General's office. Or our own county attorney's office. I'm not sure what this assessment investigation looks like. But I think it's inevitable," said Jeff Burrows, Ravalli Co. Commissioner.

Iman had no comment and the other commissioners promised they'll discuss the investigation route between now, and the next meeting set for Thursday.

Stamey also demanded "missing files" allegedly taken by Iman and others be returned, placing another member of her staff on paid suspension so she wouldn't "contaminate the necessary investigations" and is forbidding county commissioners from having any contact with her staff.

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