Auditor releases status report on Ravalli Treasurer's Office investigation


MISSOULA, Mont. - A status report from an independent audit team tasked with investigating the troubled Ravalli County Treasurer's office says the treasurer did not properly carry out her duties, and her office was in disarray.

Ravalli County officials put Treasurer Valerie Stamey on paid administrative leave in January, and Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright ordered a two-pronged investigation -- one part looking into months of late payments, deposits and bookkeeping in the Treasurer's office, and the other looking into Stamey's allegations of corruption in Ravalli County.

The status letter, released Friday, contains many details.

Audit Team Leader James Woy, CPA, writes that, "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."

Woy says, "On the day Ms. Stamey was put on leave we accounted for $952,372.78 located in the Treasurer's office and not deposited."

Woy writes, "The Ravalli County Finance department will complete the reconciliation of all County bank statements for our review and plans to have all cash reconciliations for July and August 2013 complete by Friday, February 21, 2014. All remaining reconciliations are expected to be completed by March 20, 2014. We are overseeing this process and intend to opine on these reconciliations in our final report. Again, the volume of work not performed in the Treasurer's office during the past several months is the reason for the additional time needed to complete the work."

Also on Friday, Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright announced that retired District Judge Nels Swandal will conduct a separate independent investigation into allegations of corruption in Ravalli County made by Stamey.

Stamey provided comment to NBC Montana Friday through an email from her attorney Robert Myers. Stamey says two other county workers were in charge of the deposits, and she was threatened to not interfere with their work. She also says that she has extensive evidence of efforts by multiple County workers and officials to interfere with the Treasurer's Office. She says the Ravalli County attorney should have asked the FBI to investigate.

To read the status report, click here.