The best-case scenario in the Ravalli County treasury fiasco got a little more likely over the weekend. Part One—Valerie Stamey turns out to have done almost no work at all between her appointment in September and her suspension in February—is already in place. That’s more fun than the news consuming public reasonably could have asked for. But dare we hope for Part Two? I am referring, of course, to the unlikely but entertaining possibility that county commissioners really have been illegally selling tax liens, as Stamey alleges. Probably they haven’t. But now the FBI is involved, so oh man—if they have.
Yesterday, the Ravalli County Commission met for a weekly update from embattled treasurer Valerie Stamey, whose office has not produced a financial report since September. Since the last time commissioners formally met with Stamey, news broke that she had fled a default judgement in South Carolina after double-cashing an $18,000 check. She also appears to have defaulted on a mortgage she filed on her home there in 2007, after she had moved to Montana. Stamey addressed neither of these issues with the commission, nor did she mention the county financial reports. She did, however, accuse commissioners Greg Chilcott and JR Iman of conspiring to illegally sell tax liens and orchestrating a “vile campaign to destroy my character.”