Syndicated by: Montana News
Missoula, MT. - On Monday March 27, 2017, the Montana Human Rights Bureau(HRB) denied all claims made by former candidate Josh Clark against Sheriff TJ McDermott. The case has been dismissed following a full hearing by an HRB Hearing Officer.
Prior to the full hearing that took place in June of 2016 an HRB investigator believed the allegations met the “just cause” standard and determined a full hearing was necessary in order to see if discrimination had occurred. However, the results from the full hearing alleviate any claim of wrong doing and make clear that the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office acted within the best interest of the department and the vision of the Sheriff.
“While not surprised, we are very pleased with the ruling of the Human Rights Bureau Hearing Officer,” said Missoula County Sheriff TJ McDermott. “We have always acted within the law and this HRB hearing decision backs that up. However, we do find ourselves disappointed with the time, money and resources that are spent on these types of complaints.”
The HRB findings also indicated that the accusations against Sheriff McDermott and Undersheriff Johnson were not substantiated by any hard evidence. The report shows that Clark, who would have been the highest paid patrol officer on the force, was given the same equipment, shift and opportunity as any other deputy at the MCSO.
“It’s been an exhaustive process responding to false allegations and complaints by Mr. Clark who seems unwilling to accept the results of an election held over two years ago. We hope that moving forward, Josh Clark can find closure and that we can continue our jobs as peace officers without distraction, remaining focused on protecting the citizens of Missoula County.”