Stamey's attorney releases letters in her defense


MISSOULA, Mont. - Valerie Stamey's attorney says county commissioners broke the law when they put her on administrative leave with pay, without hearing any official case of misconduct against her. Thursday, the attorney sent letters to federal officials as well as county commissioners. The letters suggest that software used in the Treasurer's Office can be easily manipulated to hide fraud, and that no printed logs of various federal allocations had been kept for cross-checking. They also accuse the county's CFO of holding sole control of the treasury software codes. The letters come as the Ravalli County Attorney is ordering a two-pronged investigation, with 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 the county. "It's going to be a full investigation, and as with most investigations it's going to kind of take the path that the investigation takes it. If that leads to, for example, on one extreme criminal conduct, then so be it," said Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright. Fulbright added that the investigation could also potentially exonerate individuals. Stamey's attorney's letters request the FBI lead the investigation into the Treasurer's Office, rather than an independent auditor. The letters ask that commissioners J.R. Iman and Greg Chilcott recuse themselves from voting or acting in any manner in regard to the Treasurer's Office, accusing them of corruption and conflict of interest. Earlier this week, Stamey said she was asking the FBI to investigate the allegations she put forth.