MISSOULA, Mont. - A Missoula County sheriff's deputy has been fired due to information uncovered during an investigation of a complaint that he was having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl.
Sheriff Carl Ibsen on Thursday announced the firing of Deputy Larry Schwindt, who had been with the department for just over two years.
Ibsen says Schwindt's alleged relationship with the girl, which reportedly began about a year ago, is being investigated by the Professional Standards Division. Detectives also are investigating to determine if criminal charges are warranted.
Ibsen says information already uncovered led to Schwindt's firing. The sheriff declined to say what was discovered or describe the nature of the relationship.
There is no phone listing for Schwindt in the Missoula area.
The following is a letter from Missoula Sheriff Carl Ibsen:
The Missoula County Sheriff's Department received a complaint of a Missoula County Deputy Sheriff engaging in an inappropriate and possibly unlawful relationship with a minor (age 17) that began nearly one year ago.
Two concurrent investigations were conducted, and continue. One is administrative,
through the Professional Standards Division. The second is being conducted through the Detective Division, for potential criminal violations.
We do not want to compromise this ongoing investigation so we are not able to provide additional details. Additionally, we have a responsibility to protect the victim's identity.
As one result of the information discovered during the investigation, I have been
compelled to terminate the employment of Deputy Larry Schwindt, an employee of a little more than 2 years with our department. The public's trust is of the utmost importance to this office.
Therefore, we believe we owe it to our community to inform them when a member of this department has violated that trust.