HAMILTON – Former Ravalli County Treasurer Valerie Stamey’s home was sold in a sheriff’s sale Thursday.
Stamey did not attend.
“If she would have been here, we would have served her,” said Carla Larson, the sheriff office’s civil clerk.
Ravalli County authorities have been attempting to serve the former treasurer since June when the county filed suit seeking $29,000 plus interest for the 58 instances the county commission said she failed in her official duties.
Larson said sheriff’s officers have made numerous attempts to serve the legal papers on Stamey.
“The gates to her home are locked and posted,” Larson said. “There is an issue of uncertainty about trespassing to serve civil papers.”
Stamey’s husband, Richard, has told officers that she is currently in a different state, but wouldn’t say which one, Larson said.
“We get rumors of people seeing her around the county, but we haven’t found her,” she said.
If the county had been able to serve the civil suit on Stamey, it would have been included as a party of interest on the legal papers approving the sheriff’s sale.
Bitterroot Valley Bank was the only bidder at Thursday’s sale.
The bank filed foreclosure documents against Stamey and her husband after they failed to make payments on their Middle Bear Creek property that includes a double-wide trailer and nine acres.
At the time of the filing, the Stameys owed $169,499 on the property, $12,133 in interest and $1,938 in late fees and other charges for a total of $183,571.
Court documents said Valerie Addis, aka Stamey, sent the bank’s representative an email July 15 saying her lawyer would be in contact about the foreclosure proceedings. A week later, the bank representative sent a return email saying he had heard from no one.
The bank then requested and was granted a default judgment.
Bitterroot Valley Bank’s representative, Richard Weber, placed the only bid of $189,137.66.
Stamey will have one year to redeem the property by coming up with that amount, plus interest.
Larson said the bank would take immediate possession of the property following the sheriff’s sale.
It’s been almost a year since Stamey was appointed interim treasurer on a 3-2 vote by Ravalli County commissioners to fill out the term of a former treasurer who left for personal reasons.
Following her appointment, the treasurer’s office fell months behind in its workload after three of the office’s most experienced employees left, citing a hostile workplace.
The commission placed Stamey on paid administrative leave in January after she refused to answer questions about a civil lawsuit she faced in South Carolina where she allegedly cashed an $18,149 check twice that she received from a law firm involved in refinancing her home.
The county continued to pay Stamey salary and benefits of about $1,000 a week through most of June. Officials delivered the check to her in the courthouse parking lot.
The county commission started a separate line item in the budget to track the expenses tied to Stamey’s eventual ouster.
On Thursday, the total on that line item stood at $122,478.
Stamey was defeated in the Republican primary. Her name will not appear on the ballot in November.