Former Missoula County Sheriff's Deputy Paige Pavelones' Discrimination Complaint dismissed by Montana Human Rights Bureau.

March 16, 2016



Missoula, Montana March, 16, 2015--//mna press//-- Former Missoula County Sheriff’s Deputy, Paige Pave lone had filed a discrimination suit against her former employer, Missoula County Sheriff’s Office.  According to the final Investigation report and notice of dismissal, and the Human Rights Bureau dismissed the complaint stating that there was no reasonable cause finding. 


Since a Notice of Dismissal was filed, former Missoula County Sheriff’s Deputy has the right to file a civil action in District Court if she chooses.   The Human Rights Bureau felt that there were no bases for discrimination charges.


According to Court documents, Paige Pavelone was not terminated from her position with the Missoula County Sheriff’s office because of her political belief and or sex, but because of her alleged behavior that was disclosed during an internal investigation that dealt with a DUI of her friend Smith back on Feb 20, 2015.


Paige Pavelone felt that she had been an exceptional employee during her tenure as a deputy Sheriff and that she did not engage in conduct that could be reason for her to fire from her position as Deputy Sheriff. 


Pavelone felt that she was discriminated against due to her political belief, and for the fact that she supported Clark, who was running against Sheriff McDermott.  She stated that other people supported Clark but they were guys and she felt that she was singled out due to the fact that she was the only female.


According to Captain Anthony Rio, during a Dui investigation involving her personal friend, Smith, Captain Anthony Rio questioned Paige Pavelone regarding the incident and Rio, determined that Paige Pavelone was dishonest and deceitful during the investigation.


Paige Pavelone did have prima facie case to some extent in the suit as she met the prima facie case standards which are  1.) She is a protected class; and that  2.) She was qualified for the position that she was in 3.) That she was subjected to an adverse act and 4.) The circumstances showed reasonable inference that she may have been treated differently based on her protected class status.


It never was disputed that Pavelone was not only a member of a protected class and protected class of a political belief and or sex, but the records showed that Paige Pavelone was terminated only after 3 months after the new Sheriff assumed office. 


It appears that during the investigation of her friend Smith's, DUI, Paige Pavelone obstructed and interfered with and official law enforcement investigation.  This behavior during that investigation was a direct violation of the Law Enforcement: Code of Ethics, various polices, and potentially a criminal statute.


 Records indicated that because the Missoula County Sheriff Office was able to articulate a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for dismissal of Paige Pavelone, there was good cause for the termination of Pavelone’s employment.  Again, the Notice of Dismissal of Pavelone’s case stated that the reason that Pavelone gave the investigators showed that Pavelone was not credible and was dishonest and deceitful.


In the Court documents, Pavelone did not produce any evidence of pretext.    Paige Pavelone felt that she was being discriminated when she was removed from the PIO position to a regular patrol assignment in Jan of 2015.  Yet this allegation that Paige Pavelone was not considered a timely consideration for discrimination.


A third party called the Prosecution Services Bureau, which is an agency that was independent from the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office stated in their investigation report that Pavelone was dishonest and not credible.


The final Conclusion of the Montana Human Rights Bureau indicated that there was no reasonable cause to believe that any unlawful discrimination occurred as alleged by the Missoula County Sheriff Office as former Missoula County Sheriff’s Deputy , Paige Pavelone stated in her complaint.  The case is closed.

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