Earlier this week, the Ravalli Republic published a story about Ravalli County commissioners considering hiring a process server to track down Valerie Stamey to serve a lawsuit to collect fines levied against her last year.
In the story, Commission Chair Jeff Burrows said he wanted “closure” on the whole affair.
That’s not surprising considering he was one of the people who appointed Stamey without bothering to look into her background. He didn’t perform a background check on her. He didn’t talk to previous employers. He didn’t ask the Missoula School District why she was terminated from her job. And then, after it became apparent that she was not doing her job, he defended her saying she wasn’t getting the help she needed. It wasn’t until his seat was threatened that he started to back away from her. Of course he denied the appointment was political but everyone knew it was.
Now, a year after deciding to fine her for not doing her job and costing the county $120,000 (so far), he and the other commissioners are finally getting around to discussing whether they should even bother pursuing the lawsuit given the unlikeliness of getting any money out of her.
Maybe if they’d pursued it back when they knew where she was it wouldn’t have been an issue. Now they’re looking at just writing off all that money spent on her and her mistakes.
They’ll couch it in being responsible with county funds but really their delay shows that they are more interested in covering up for their own mistakes than taking care of county taxpayers’ money. If they don’t get the lawsuit served, there is no chance of ever recovering some of the money. Maybe a better alternative would be for the commissioners to take some of those “office management” days (days off) that are increasingly common on their calendar and spend it tracking down Stamey.