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Ronan Police Chief Fired After Complaints
Valent Maxwell was terminated earlier this month
MISSOULA — Ronan's City Council relieved the police chief of his duties after receiving complaints that he did not show up for work or cooperate with other law enforcement agencies.

Valent Maxwell was terminated earlier this month after less than three months on the job, Mayor Kim Aipperspach said.

City Councilman Chris Adler told the Missoulian that a Lake County deputy reported Maxwell left when she asked for his help with a hostile suspect at the hospital. Adler also alleged Maxwell told a Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal police officer during a joint incident response that "this was the last time I help the tribe."

Maxwell told the council he couldn't recall leaving the hospital or the conversation with the tribal officer, and he suggested his blood sugar medication may be to blame.

The council voted 3-2 on Jan. 7 to fire Maxwell, Aipperspach said.

"It just wasn't a good fit. He was under his probationary period, but things weren't working out the way they should," the mayor said.

The council appointed Sgt. John Mitchell to be the city's third police chief in six months.

Longtime Police Chief Dan Wadsworth was stripped of his state certifications and suspended in July after a state board found he falsified records to allow his son to attend the Montana Law Enforcement Academy at city expense.

Adler said the city was trying to clean up part of the police department's history by hiring Maxwell, but, "It was not going in the direction that we were foreseeing it to go."
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