Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

CSKT Public Defenders join Ronan lawsuit

Concerned with community safety
Sam Sandoval, photo

PABLO ó A group of attorneys, including the CSKT Public Defenders Office, recently filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Lake County resident and Tribal member, Anthony Chaney, for a harmful law enforcement situation created by the City of Ronan Police Department and its police chief. The lawsuit also applies to others who were subject to search and seizure by Trevor Wadsworth or other ineligible peace officers acting as City of Ronan Police Officers. An estimated 100 plus people were likely impacted by these untrained officers.

The State of Montana has requirements that all peace officers in the state must meet. Unfortunately, many of Ronanís full-time officers and its reserve officers did not meet those standards, and this led to mistreatment and unlawful arrests of citizens.

Itís very likely that not only residents of Ronan, but community members who live near Ronan or even visitors who were passing through, have been impacted by improperly trained police officers. Persons who believe they were harmed, mistreated, or arrested without cause by Ronan police officers should feel free to contact the team of attorneys involved.

Please contact the CSKT Public Defenders office, Ann Sherwood or Justin Kalmbach, by calling 406-675-2700, ext. 1125 in Pablo, or email, or; or Timothy Bechtold, in Missoula at 406-721-1435, or email at

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