(CUT BANK) – AN ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE MT. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAS MADE AN OFFICIAL REQUEST FOR A SUBPOENA TO FURTHER AN INVESTIGATION INVOLVING GLACIER COUNTY OFFICIALS FOR ALLEGED OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT AND ILLEGALLY TRANSFERRING FUNDS FROM ONE ACCOUNT TO ANOTHER TO OFFSET DEFICIT SPENDING.

PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATIONS SHOW THAT COUNTY OFFICIALS ALLEGEDLY USED SCHOOL DISTRICT MONEY FROM BROWNING AND CUT BANK TO OFFSET DEFICIT SPENDING OF COUNTY FUNDS.

THE SUBPOENA SEEKS DIGITAL RECORDS FROM THE COUNTIES’ SOFTWARE PROVIDER, “BLACK MOUNTAIN SOFTWARE OF POLSON, MT.

A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION WHICH PROMPTED THE SUBPOENA SAYS THAT FOR EXAMPLE INVESTIGATOR JOHN KOMORA HAD IN HIS POSESSION AN E-MAIL SENT FROM KARA FLATH, THE SCHOOL FINANCE ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION TO BROWNING SUPERINTENDENT CORRINA GUARDIPEE-HALL.

THE E-MAIL STATED THAT THE COUNTIES CASH BALANCE FOR SEPT. 2018 WAS JUST OVER 32-MILLION BUT THE TOTAL AMOUNTS HELD FOR THE SCHOOL DISTRICT’S WAS JUST OVER 33-MILLION.  FLATH STATED THAT “THIS LEADS ME TO BELIEVE THAT THE COUNTY IS USING SCHOOL DISTRICT FUNDS TO SUPPORT DAY TO DAY OPERATIONS OF THE COUNTY AND THAT IS NOT ALLOWED.”

IN AN INTERVIEW WITH AUDITOR BOB DENNING, THE SUBPOENA REQUEST SAYS GLACIER COUNTY HAS A HIGH NEGATIVE CASH BALANCE AND WHEN THAT IS THE CASE, IT INDICATES THEY ARE BORROWING MONEY FROM SOME OTHER SOURCE AND IT APPEARS THAT GLACIER COUNTY HAS BEEN BORROWING MONEY FROM SCHOOLS SINCE 2015 AND CONTINUES TO DO SO.

AN OCTOBER 2018 CASH REPORT SHOWED THAT 25 GLACIER COUNTY FUNDS WERE OPERATING IN A DEFICIT BY A TOTAL OF 6.7 MILLION.

GLACIER COUNTY COMMISSIONER MICHAEL DESROSIER SAYS THEY HAVE LOOKED INTO THE “ACCUSATION OF USING THE SCHOOL FUNDS FOR DAY TO DAY OPERATIONS AND COULDN’T FIND ANYTHING.”    HE SAID WHEN THEY CHECKED WITH THE BROWNING DISTRICT THEIR AUDITS DIDN’T SHOW ANYTHING AND “IF IT WAS HAPPENING IT CERTAINLY WAS NOT INTENTIONAL.”   HE SAID HE HAD NOT YET READ THE SUBPOENA AND HE WASN’T CERTAIN WHAT THE MOST RECENT CASH REPORT SHOWS IN REGARDS TO A COUNTY DEFICIT.