Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright announced on Friday, February 14, that retired District Court Judge Nels Swandal will head the investigation into alleged corruption and wrongdoing in relation to charges coming out of the treasurer's office. Fulbright outlined the scope of Swandal's investigation.

"We've asked Judge Swandal to independently look at the various allegations that Ms. (Valerie) Stamey and others have made about the various commissioners, current and former employees of the county, and these sort of things", Fulbright said. "That's the specific task he's been asked to do. Where that will lead, Judge Swandal will have all the discretion to follow in any direction."

Fulbright also released a status report on the independent examination of the Ravalli County Treasurer's Office, which was delivered on Friday by the audit team leader James Woy, CPA.

"The audit team released their interim report today, and it's pretty detailed on a number of fronts with not only what they've found so far, but also the plan for the future," Fulbright said. "It's clear that the volume of work that was found to be not done in the treasurer's office is so high that the audit is going to take longer than we had hoped, but it is underway. The report is very detailed, and contains a lot of good information for our citizen taxpayers to know. I think they'll find some assurance that all the monies will be accounted for and properly followed up on."

Suspended Ravalli County Treasurer Valerie Stamey appeared on the KGVO Radio talk show "Talk Back" on Thursday, February 13 and leveled various charges of corruption at Ravalli County Commissioners, as well as accusing the treasurer's office of being a "hostile working environment". The podcast of that program is attached here.

Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright