UPDATE – Fired Deputy Attorney Fires Back at Charges By Sheriff’s Department [YouTube]
UPDATE 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 21..Following the story KGVO News reported on Monday afternoon, our news partners at NBC Montana provided this update:
NBC Montana was able to reach Pavalone's attorney, Josh Van de Wetering, for comment. He said she plans to file suit against Missoula County and called this situation a political vendetta, saying the sheriff is using his power to punish Pavalone for her support of Josh Clark in the latest sheriff's election.
Van de Wetering said Pavalone categorically denies every one of the allegations made against her, adding that she was unable to go through proper union channels to prove her innocence in this case.
Nothing is filed at this point, and Van de Wetering didn't have an exact timeline of when that suit will be filed
After several media inquiries on the status of former deputy and public information officer, Paige Pavalone’s, employment at the Missoula County Sheriff's Office, we can offer the following information at this time:
Deputy Pavalone was terminated on April 13, 2015 for conduct disclosed and statements made during an internal investigation into the February 2015 arrest of a co-worker. The Sheriff and County Attorney’s Offices have determined her ability to serve as a witness in the criminal justice system has been compromised by her actions and the County Attorney has placed Deputy Pavalone’s name on a “Brady list”. A “Brady List” means there is evidence affecting the credibility of a law enforcement officer as a witness because they knowingly lied in an official capacity.
Based on violations of her oath of office, the law enforcement code of ethics and the likelihood she would be impeached as a witness upon disclosure by the prosecutor that her name appears on a “Brady list”, the Sheriff has determined that Pavalone can no longer effectively serve in the capacity of deputy sheriff.
The sheriff's office has had three public information officers in the past two years. Jason Johnson is now the Undersheriff for T.J. McDermott, while Pavalone was succeeded by former KPAX TV anchor Brenda Bassett.