Suspended Ravalli County treasurer Valerie Stamey
Last Friday, independent auditor James Woy filed a status report with Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright on the first two weeks of his investigation into the county treasurer’s office as Valerie Stamey left it. Quote:
At this point, it is apparent the duties of the Ravalli County treasurer were not properly executed and the state of the treasurer’s office was in disarray.
What’s that word for when something happens that you expected all along? I can’t think of it right now, because I’m too busy trying to think of a word that describes Stamey’s announcement, made yesterday through her attorney, that she is suing Woy for libel. You didn’t think she was going to roll over, did you?
Suspended Ravalli County treasurer Valerie Stamey, photographed by Alex Sakariassen
The Montana Department of Revenue has threatened to fine Ravalli County $37,000 if it does not file delinquent property tax reports soon. The good news is that the interim heads of the county treasury, Clerk and Recorder Regina Plettenberg and the pleasingly-named deputy Dan Whitesitt, found $800,000 worth of undeposited checks dating back to November. Valerie Stamey, the treasurer who claimed to have uncovered a criminal conspiracy among county commissioners when they accused her of doing nothing since she was appointed, turns out to have done pretty much nothing since she was appointed.
Ravalli County treasurer Valerie Stamey, photographed by Alex Sakariassen of the Independent
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.”
Republican precinct captains Rick and Valerie Stamey in 2013. Valerie is now Ravalli County treasurer.
The finance department of Ravalli County announced today that it will bypass the treasurer’s office to issue emergency operating funds to schools, libraries and fire departments. Meanwhile, treasurer Valerie Stamey told the county commission that she would present October financial reports by Friday. “If not then, by next Friday,” she added. Stamey’s statement was of a piece with what’s been coming out of her office since she was appointed in September—namely, everything but financial reports. After three resignations and numerous accusations of incompetence, she is starting to look like the perfect triumph of politics over government in Ravalli County.