With the payment of four million dollars in delinquent taxes owed the state, Ravalli County will avoid a $37,000 interest penalty from the Montana Department of Revenue.

The payment, made Thursday, January 30, will also allow the county some breathing room to get the accounting reports prepared that are also required by the state.

Clerk and Recorder Regina Plettenberg said the county's bank account can easily handle the transaction. At this point, those working to untangle the treasurer's office records reported that most of the tax money collected by the county is in the bank, including most of the $800,000 in undeposited checks found in the past few days. However, they said the money has not been reconciled, a process which is underway.

The amount sent to the state was determined from a payment made by Ravalli County a year ago, which state and county officials agreed would be similar to the amount due in this payment. Once the reports are finalized in the treasurer's office, any remaining amount due the state would be paid.

Treasurer Valerie Stamey, who was appointed by the commission last fall, remains on administrative leave with pay, though the commission voted Thursday to hold a meeting to determine violations she may have made since her appointment.

Stamey, meanwhile, has charged former treasurer's office employees and current county commissioners with corruption.