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Polson Police Chief, officer sent to ethics training

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Polson Police Chief Wade Nash and officer Cory Anderson have been ordered to attend ethics training by the Montana Public Safety Officers Standards and Training Council, or POST. 

Anderson must also be evaluated for chemical dependency by a certified evaluator and must follow “any and all” recommendations by said evaluator, and Nash is required to attend training in evidence procedure including instruction in evidence logging, maintaining chain of custody and evidence destruction. In addition, Nash is supposed to write and implement a policy that requires all POST-certified Polson Police officers to attend ethics training every two years as part of their 40 hours of regularly-required training every two years. Under the agreement, both officers’ POST certifications remain intact.

Nash was investigated for allegedly tampering with a witness in a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks investigation into alleged poaching by several Lake County law enforcement officers in 2010. Nash also allegedly held a sale of guns from the department’s evidence collection and accepted a shotgun as a gift for running the sale. According to the accusations, Nash called the FWP poaching witness on Anderson’s cell phone. Anderson was investigated for multiple allegations of incidents involving alcohol, including being kicked out of a bar for public intoxication, domestic abuse and crashing a vehicle. 

“(Nash and Anderson) admitted they shouldn’t have made that phone call,” POST acting director Clayton Coker said. “Their counsel and our counsel met and reached this agreement to not go forward to a formal hearing. That closes the case … Only time will tell if it’s fixed or not.”

Coker confirmed that POST has closed two other investigations into former Lake County Undersheriff Karey Reynolds, who allegedly misrepresented his law enforcement experience on an application for a search warrant, and Lake County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Sargeant, who was being investigated for his role in the 2010 poaching case. The complaint against Reynolds was dismissed with prejudice, so “it can never be brought up again,” Reynolds said. “I did not do anything that was illegal; I did not make false statements. Everything I said was true.”

“The investigation failed to find sufficient evidence to either prove or disprove the allegations,” Coker explained, noting that the 13-member POST Council did not “exonerate” either of the two men.

Both complaints were ruled “not sustained,” rather than “unfounded,” the next step up in POST’s list of possible findings, Coker said.

The Montana Attorney General’s Office also looked into the allegation against Reynolds, and found that prosecution was not warranted, according to a June 2012 statement from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. 

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