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Suspended Montana sheriff withdraws re-election bid - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Suspended Montana sheriff withdraws re-election bid

Posted: Feb 08, 2018 2:18 PM Updated:

GREAT FALLS - Pondera County Sheriff Carl Suta has withdrawn his bid to run for re-election.

On Wednesday, Pondera County Commissioners suspended Suta pending the outcome of his official misconduct case.

Suta was charged last week with a misdemeanor count of official misconduct. According to court documents, Pondera County Attorney Mary Ann Ries referred the allegation of misconduct by Suta to the Division of Criminal Investigation of the Montana Department of Justice.

Ries told the agent she had received an e-mail from a Child & Family Services caseworker about a father bringing a complete law enforcement investigative file with him to the office. The father reportedly told the caseworker that Suta had given him the file, even though Toole County was handling the investigation

It also appeared that Suta had set up forensic interviews with the children in the case, even though Suta was not an investigator. When the agent interviewed Suta, Suta said he had once given the father the file. Suta said that the normal procedure is to contact the county attorney, but he did not in this case.

When the agent questioned Suta about the laws governing the dissemination of confidential criminal justice information, Suta allegedly ended the interview.

Suta has declined to comment about the charge but released the following statement Thursday:

"Out of respect for our community and hopes that all of this chaos will subside, I regretfully withdrew my filing for the office of Pondera County Sheriff. I am at a point in my life that I just need some peace and to take care of my family. I wish the other candidates the best of luck," he said in the statement. 

There are now just two declared candidates that have filed to run for office: Robert Skorupa and Ross Drishinski.

See also: Pondera County commissioners suspend sheriff

See also: Pondera County Sheriff Suta denies allegations

See also: Petition to recall Pondera County Sheriff Carl Suta approved

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