County Attorney Terryl Matt asks for assistance from Department of Criminal Investigation
On May 29, Lewis and Clark District Court Judge Kathy Seeley issued an investigative subpoena requiring Black Mountain Software to produce all of Glacier County’s financial records. The subpoena was issued two months after Glacier County Attorney Terryl Matt requested the Montana Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI), provide “assistance in investigating financial irregularities of Glacier County.”
The investigative subpoena seeks access to Glacier County’s accounting, Budget Preparation, Payroll, Assessor, School Ledger, Tax, Document Indexing and Cloud Hosting applications and records.
Black Mountain Software has 10 days from the date it was issued the subpoena, which was May 30, to produce electronic “read-only” access to the Department of Justice.
According to information in the affidavit submitted to the District Court by Mary Cochenour, Assistant Attorney General, there is “reason to believe” that a person or persons may have committed the following offenses:
•Official Misconduct, a misdemeanor, and violation of MCA 45-7-401.
•Expenditures Limited to Appropriations, a violation of MCA 7-6-4005.
•Procedure to Transfer Funds, a violation of MCA 7-6-613.
Cochenour provided a number of “facts” which are grounds for the subpoena, including:
• Glacier County Attorney Terryl Matt’s March 22 request for assistance. The request came after discussions between DCI Bureau Chief John Strandell and Matt about “the financial deficit of Glacier County and the possibility that Glacier County was using school district money to offset deficit spending of county funds.”
•Statements from interviews conducted by DCI Agent John Komora with Robert Denning of Denning, Downey & Associations. According to the affidavit, “Denning stated that Glacier County has a negative cash balance and explained when a government like a county has a negative cash balance it indicates the county is actually borrowing money from some other sources. Denning stated it appears that Glacier County has been borrowing from the schools since 2015, and continues to do so.”
• Komora’s investigation, included information and findings from the audit report issued by Andersen Bros., the auditing firm that performed Glacier County’s FY 2015 and 2016 audits. Also cited was information from three Glacier County Cash Reports, showing Glacier County funds with deficits totaling between $5.7 and $6.7 million.
• Statements by Denning that he “provided Glacier County Commissioners suggestions on how to solve their deficit problems but that they have not implemented those suggestions.”
Agent Komora believes that “Black Mountain Software, Inc., accounting records will help establish whether Glacier County officials failed to perform their duties, resulting is (in) a county cash deficit of approximately $6,000,000.”