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County to appoint interim Justice of the Peace

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POLSON — Former Montana Supreme Court Justice Diane Barz is filling in for Justice of the Peace Chuck Wall after his resignation on Aug. 8.

In a statement, Wall said, “Judges are - and should be - held to very high standards of conduct, both in their professional and personal affairs. One such standard is that they avoid any appearance of inpropriety.”

“In an effort to lighten the atmosphere and make both my office and my small-town Montana but very busy courtroom a more enjoyable and less stressful and intimidating place to work and appear, I have said some things that in hindsight were not becoming of a member of the judiciary,” he continued.

Wall said he was resigning in order to save his family and the citizens and taxpayers of Lake County the expense of continued legal proceedings and to allow his position to be placed on the November ballot for a fair election of his replacement.

Wall was the subject of two sexual harassment claims filed with the Montana Human Rights Bureau and settled in December 2011.

Wall had no further comment.

He is a graduate of Cumberland Law School, Birmingham, Ala., and the University of South Carolina, and is in his third term as Justice of the Peace. 

In his statement, Wall said he plans to go into private practice.

“My wife, family and I feel good about our decision and look forward to living a more private and normal life,” he explained. 

Lake County Commissioners have had several applicants for Wall’s job and will appoint an interim successor on Aug. 23, since Barz only wants to fill in for three weeks. 

The commissioners said they would not consider residents who plan to run for Justice of the Peace in November for the temporary position. 

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