Emails reveal history of problems in Ravalli County Treasurer's office


Emails reveal history of problems in Ravalli Co. treasurer's office

MISSOULA, Mont. - When the Ravalli County Commission selected an appointee to fill the balance of Treasurer Marie Keeton's term, the decision fell to two top candidates. 

Linda Isaacs brought 18 years of experience to the equation.  Valerie Stamey had no experience but a wealth of enthusiasm.  Enthusiasm carried the day.   Stamey was appointed Ravalli County's third Treasurer in as many years.

A series of staff resignations followed, leaving the Treasurer without a foundation of experience.  The office responsible for collecting and dispersing funds to keep county offices, cities governments and public services operating was awash in paper.  Problems began to surface.  Deadlines passed.  The Treasurer's incomplete work began to pile up.

We turned to Ravalli County email for an inside look.  What we've seen so far is a developing sense of anxiety.

Just weeks after Valerie Stamey's appointment, Clerk of District Court, Paige Trautwein writes, "Evidently I have a problem with my deposits."

Four weeks later, Trautwein writes to Commissioner Jeff Burrows.  "At some point you are going to have to come up with a solutions so other County Elected Officials can run their offices the way that the public elected them to do."

Stamey responds to an inquiry from Trautwein, "I am short staffed right now, and have everyone working on tax bills."

Trautwein was just one of many feeling the pressure as the county financial processes unraveled.

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