Daryl Anderson recall, Lincoln County, Montana, 2009

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A group of Eureka-area residents is leading a campaign to recall Lincoln County Sheriff Daryl R. Anderson over an alleged failure to properly investigate a series of recent rape complaints.[1]

The group accuses the sheriff of violating the public trust, failing to preserve victims' rights, and official misconduct.[1]

Anderson refutes the allegations, and has the continued support of county officials, including Lincoln County Commissioner Marianne Roose. "When the sheriff's office gets a lead, they check it out," Roose said. "There's been a lot of sensationalism and rumor about recent people and events. The sheriff's office has been working diligently with some of us community leaders on the recent allegations of sexual assault."[1]

The Lincoln County Recall Committee alleges that authorities aren't taking the rape cases seriously and have been unsuccessful with at least one investigation by waiting several days to collect evidence.[1]

"Anderson knows how to do the investigation properly, but for whatever reason has chosen not to," Kaechele said.[1]

On June 26, 2009, area officials sent the petition for referendum back for wording revision, due to questions of legality. The petition wording was also conflicting with state statute. According to group spokeswoman Diane Kaechele, “We will do what we have to do to move this petition forward. The only supervisors [Anderson] has are the people who voted him into office.” The recall effort was subsequently rejected by Lincoln county officials the next week after the group resubmitted the petition. [2][3]

Recall petition wording

To the Lincoln County Election Administrator: We, the undersigned qualified electors of the State of Montana and Lincoln County respectfully petition that an election be held as provided by law on the question of whether Lincoln County Sheriff Daryl Anderson, holding the office of Lincoln County Sheriff, should be recalled for the following reasons:

Montana State Law 2-16-603, MCA states that an elected officer may be recalled for incompetency. Sheriff Daryl Anderson failed to investigate 6 reported rape crimes completely, if at all. Specifically he failed to adequately investigate a June 26, 2008 rape and failed to secure the crime scene to obtain valuable evidence. Sheriff Anderson also failed to adequately investigate an April 25, 2008 incident where he also failed to secure the crime scene. The Sheriff has also failed to provide rape victims written notice of their rights as set forth in 46-24-201, MCA He has denied a concealed carry permit without a written statement of the reasonable cause for the denial as required by Section 45-8-321(2), MCA and testified against HB228 Citizens Self Defense and Firearm Rights Bill. He failed to require a deputy to attend the Montana Law Enforcement Academy as required by Section 7-32-2106, MCA and take his Oath of Office per Section 7-32-303(3), MCA. As a result, Sheriff Anderson is subject to recall pursuant to Section 2-16-603, MCA.[4]

Illegal deputy controversy

On April 8, 2009, the leaders of the recall effort released information that they had received regarding a deputy hired by Anderson and accused of impersonating an officer.

As the information on Montana Recall's website states:

"The Lincoln County Recall Committee received an anonymous tip that the Lincoln County Sheriff’s department under the supervision of Sheriff Daryl Anderson had employed a deputy that was impersonating an officer.It is our understanding that Jay Charles Sheffield was hired as a Deputy Sheriff in Lincoln County by Sheriff Daryl Anderson in June of 2007 and served in this position until he was appointed as a Justice of the Peace in Libby in February 2009."[5]

See also