MISSOULA COUNTY - Valerie Stamey was a guest on KGVO's "Talk Back" program Thursday morning.
Stamey, who has been placed on administrative leave for unbalanced books and late deposits, answered 15 to 20 phone calls from listeners. Most of them were supportive.
Meantime, steady if slow progress is reported reconciling the books in that troubled office.
Talk Back host Peter Christian greeted Stamey to the show. Stamey, a southerner, greeted her listeners with a down home "Hi Y'all." She was upbeat and relaxed.
She repeated charges she has made before, stemming from accusations she has leveled at least a dozen Ravalli County officials.
"I find myself before you as a whistle blower," said Stamey, "who's here to expose a cover up of corruption in our county government."
Most of the callers on the program supported Stamey's efforts at trying to uncover alleged corruption. But at least one man called in to say he was skeptical of her claims.
The treasurer said media reports on her have been filled with mudslinging and lies.
She said she has been chased and hounded by reporters and photographers.
"I ended up in a used car parking lot hiding for over an hour," said Stamey, "until I could get home."
In Stamey's office an independent auditing team is reviewing the books.
The retired Beaverhead County treasurer that commissioners contracted with is wrapping up her second week on board. Kathy Allard is working with the auditors and training a relatively new staff.
Clerk and recorder Regina Plettenberg said there is progress.
"It's going to take awhile," said Plettenberg. "But it is going to happen."
There is relief over state threats to impose penalties four $4 million in late payments.
"We did send the payment to them to avoid the penalty," said the clerk and recorder, "and I think they're aware it's going to take us a little bit of time to get all of our records caught up and reconciled."
Next week, on February 18, county commissioners will discuss whether to fine Stamey for failing to get financial reports out in a timely manner.
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