The following Opinion Editorial was submitted to Montana Daily Gazette by Julie Baldridge (Flathead County resident.)
As a concerned voter, I find the articles attacking County Commissioner Candidate Jason Parce appalling.
Parce’s employee rights appear to have been violated by City of Kalispell public officials, including Commissioner Brad Abell and Former Mayor Tammi Fisher. Why are they not defending this employee’s rights and due process (allegation, investigation, determination, appeal, and results)?
After determining that there is no criminal activity, the Event remains a sealed, confidential investigation. That and the appeals processes can take months before going to POST, where it can take many more months before a final determination is made. Only then are the results of the investigation made public as required by law.
Apparently, someone associated with this Event released confidential information. Current and former public officials then used that information to publicly violate known policies by making baseless assumptions as to what had allegedly occurred. These actions are an egregious infringement of the employee’s rights during a heated county commissioner race.
Given Jason Parce’s stellar record as a police officer in Kalispell, the hit pieces against him smack of corruption. The opposition is misleading the public at a critical time in this crucial race.