Lake County 

Back to basics

On Dec. 9, Lake County Undersheriff Karey Reynolds graduated from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy. The Montana Public Safety Officer Standards and Training Council (or POST)—the state body that polices the police—had ordered Reynolds to complete the 12-week basic-training course in Helena because it couldn't verify his stated employment history.

Reynolds is now able to resume his duties as undersheriff, but he's not out of the woods yet. The Montana Attorney General's Office received a request from Lake County Sheriff Jay Doyle to investigate whether Reynolds had misrepresented his work history. "We will be conducting the investigation in the very near future," says Montana Department of Justice spokesman John Doran.

Reynolds was chosen as undersheriff after Doyle took office nearly a year ago. POST Director Wayne Ternes originally thought Reynolds was eligible to be undersheriff because his work history showed that he hadn't had a break in service exceeding 36 months. But Reynolds didn't have records to back that up. So Ronan Police Chief Dan Wadsworth provided them.

"However," Ternes wrote to Sheriff Doyle on May 19, "due to the recent incident at [the Montana Law Enforcement Academy] where a student was 'sponsored' by Ronan Police Department to attend MLEA and documents were falsified by Chief Wadsworth (mainly stating that the student was hired by Ronan when he was not), I decided that further investigation into Mr. Reynolds's employment was necessary."

POST found that Reynolds's last year of verifiable work for the Ronan Police Department was in 2000, contrary to what Wadsworth had stated.

Ternes told the Indy several weeks ago that Reynolds had been "excelling in class, and actually been a very outstanding student, from what I'm being told by all the instructors at the academy."

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