The undersheriff in Madison County is active as a applicant applicant for sheriff adjoin bounden Roger Thompson, who is currently abeyant with pay because of bent accuse adjoin him accompanying to a controlled biologic buy.
Thompson had filed for re-election this year and his name is the alone one that will arise on the Nov. 6 ballot. But Madison County association can still vote for Undersheriff Phil Fortner by blockage a box and putting his aboriginal and aftermost names aing to it.
Write-in candidates rarely win in Montana or added states, but Gavin Roselles about won a backward applicant attack adjoin Powell County Sheriff Scott Howard in 2014. Roselles absent by 90 votes, but added than 400 applicant votes weren’t counted because abounding alone had Roselles’ aftermost name or the egg-shaped for “write-in” wasn’t blackened.
Fortner said Monday there were two affidavit he absitively to run.
“One is that I appetite the bodies to apperceive that there will be added than one applicant and they will accept the befalling to vote for added than one person,” Fortner told The Montana Standard. “Two is that I am accommodating to action for the candor of every accepted and accomplished agent and adopted sheriff that has captivated this office.”
Fortner has been a agent sheriff in Madison County aback 1997, a agent coroner aback 2008 and has been undersheriff the accomplished four years.
When asked if he had gotten forth with Thompson or had ill animosity adjoin him, Fortner said it was accustomed for anyone in any job to accept issues with their superiors.
But he said he capital to accomplish one affair clear: “I accept heard that some bodies anticipate he has been set up, and that is not the truth.”
Thompson was answerable aftermost ages with analytical with evidence, canard and official delinquency stemming from a controlled biologic buy. County commissioners abeyant him with pay for three months awaiting resolution of the case, and if it takes longer, he would not be paid.
Thompson pleaded not accusable to the accuse aftermost week. He told commissioners ahead that he prided himself “on my appearance and faculty of integrity.”
“Although I acerb admiration to avert myself adjoin these allegations afore this commission, I charge aboriginal abode them area they accept been made, aural a cloister of law,” Thompson said then.
A corpuscle buzz cardinal he had as sheriff was active anniversary time it was alleged Monday and addition at the appointment of his aegis attorney, Todd Whipple of Bozeman, told the Standard they never animadversion on awaiting cases.
Fortner has affected the duties of sheriff for now, but he said he was still undersheriff and not “acting sheriff.”
The Standard larboard a bulletin with Madison County Advocate Chris Christensen on Monday gluttonous description on what would appear beneath assertive scenarios.
If Fortner wins the acclamation as a write-in, he would become sheriff. He said if he absent and Thompson was begin guilty, commissioners would again accredit an acting sheriff and a appropriate acclamation would be captivated in two years.
Fortner — on his attack website at www.philfortnerforsheriff.com — has a accent adduce that says, “As your aing sheriff, I will ensure that your administration maintains the accomplished able standards of law enforcement.”
It includes a few questions bodies ability have, including, “Why won’t Phil be on the ballot?”
The answer: “Due to the accepted circumstances, Phil has called to footfall advanced and run for Sheriff as a applicant candidate. Being a applicant applicant is adamantine because bodies will absolutely charge to address his name on their acclamation aback voting.”
It explains the admonition for accomplishing that or says a pre-printed characterization can be added to the bare amplitude for write-ins. The website says he can’t accept printed labels at voting stations, but he will accommodate them in attack mailings.
In Powell County four years ago, Roselles filed to run as a applicant applicant afterwards accident his job as a agent sheriff due to cutbacks in the office. He wasn’t aggravating to get aback at Howard, he said, but aggravating to mend a breach amid the sheriff’s administration and the Deer Lodge burghal police.
Howard accustomed 994 votes. Acclamation board counted 904 that accurately had Roselles’ aboriginal antecedent or name accounting in forth with his aftermost name, including several abeyant misspellings, and the egg-shaped aing to it blackened.
But afterward directives from the state, acclamation board in Powell County alone 238 applicant votes, abounding that alone included Roselles’ aftermost name. Another 202 voters didn’t befoul ovals in the sheriff’s chase and those weren’t counted either.
Howard, who has been Powell County sheriff for added than 30 years, is not gluttonous re-election this year. Roselles is active for the post, and his will be the alone name on the ballot.
According to charging documents, Thompson abiding a biologic buy on June 11, 2017 amid a arcane adviser and Martin James Walsh, a Twin Bridges man who was bedevilled this accomplished August to 10 years in bastille for trafficking methamphetamine.
When the arcane adviser met with admiral above-mentioned to the buy, he and his agent were searched. An antecedent chase angry up no drugs but in a after one, admiral begin a Crown Royal bag absolute a butane torch, a bottle aqueduct and crumb that after activated absolute as meth.
Those items and heroin purchased from Walsh were again accustomed to Thompson who allegedly said he would access them into evidence. But in a chase accreditation appliance active by Thompson and presented to District Cloister Judge Luke Berger the aing day, Thompson wrote that the adviser and his agent were “free of any drugs,” prosecutors say.
Photos of the meth and aqueduct begin on the adviser were taken, but they were not in an affirmation locker area they should accept been and were not begin in Thompson’s appointment either.
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