Sheriff Carl Ibsen – Business as Usual Till January 1, 2015 [AUDIO]
T.J. McDermott won the Democratic primary on Tuesday, meaning he will become Missoula County Sheriff six months from now on January 1, 2015.
Until then, current sheriff Carl Ibsen said on Wednesday that despite the fact that McDermott is the sheriff-elect, Ibsen will remain in command of the sheriff's office,
"I think things will continue to work in a normal manner," Ibsen said. "It's just a few more months added to it than if it would have been the general election, which is on November 4th. If this were a normal election where there were multiple candidates, then after that election, we would worry about a transition, or whatever changes might be coming. As it stands right now, we're looking at a six or seven month time period, rather than the two months at that time. In the meantime, my term ends on December 31st, 2014 at midnight, so I have every intention of being sheriff until December 31st, 2014 at midnight, at which time the new sheriff will take over."
Ibsen said despite the campaign rhetoric, the public won't see much change in the way sheriff's office personnel do their jobs.
"For the most part, you're not going to see too much change," Ibsen said. "You know, the sheriff's department, like most agencies or businesses will continue on doing their job for the public just as we have for a long, long time."
Asked about how he would handle any lingering hard feelings by members of his staff after the election, Ibsen said his staff would respond like professionals.
"I don't think there's going to be any lingering hard feelings," he said. "The primary's over...and we move on."
Ibsen had endorsed his undersheriff, Josh Clark to succeed him in the office. McDermott has selected Detective Jason Johnson as his undersheriff. McDermott and Johnson filed a complaint in 2013 with the State Human Rights Commission over political discrimination by Ibsen and the sheriff's office, and were both awarded $60,000 in compensation in a settlement by Missoula County.
Missoula County Sheriff Carl Ibsen