HAMILTON, Mont. -

Ravalli County commissioners voted unanimously late Monday afternoon to bring in a state accountant to assess the extent of the problem in the treasurer's office.

The State Department of Administration will perform an assessment and provide guidance to Valerie Stamey and her staff.

All of this came from a morning meeting, where Stamey was confronted by school officials and several other county officials, impatient about books that don't balance.

School officials from all over Ravalli County filled the commissioners' meeting room to talk about financial problems in the treasurer's office.

Victor School Business Manager Luanne Bauman said her school is missing several deposit receipts. Bauman said it's a total of more than $34,000.

As of last Thrusday, said Bitterroot Valley education cooperative business manager, Terri Ward, "I had $368,000 in unreceipted funds that had been deposited with the county."

School officials complain that Stamey has not released financial reports since September. Stamey said she will have October's accounting package to the school by Friday.

"The month of October has been our die on the hill, if you would," Stamey told school officials. "I do not anticipate the remaining months will continue to be behind at this point."

She said high turnover in her tenure caused problems. Three experienced staff members resigned after she was appointed, one of them a former county treasurer. They questioned Stamey's competence.

But Stamey said she expects a smoother road with three new staff members on board.

"We've been able to bring on some very qualified individuals," said the treasurer.

But school officials said the slow response from the treasurer's office has been stressful and costly.

"It's very, very difficult for us to balance our checkbooks and reconcile without those monthly reports being done on time," said Lone Rock School Superintendent Roger Samples.