A candidate for Missoula County commissioner who was fired twice as a criminal investigator by the Montana Department of Justice says politics were at play in his recent dismissal from a local investigation company.

“They’re saying it’s for work product. I’m saying it’s political,” said Mark Brady, the Republican challenger to incumbent Jean Curtiss in the Nov. 6 election.

Brady was fired by Equity Investigations six weeks ago and says he’s now running his own investigation business in town.

Beth Koch, owner of Equity Investigations and its parent company, Equity Process Management, confirmed that Brady worked for her company from 2006 until Aug. 28, 2012.

“Due to the privacy considerations I really have no further comment regarding Mark Brady’s employment at Equity Management,” Koch said Thursday. “But I will say Mark Brady’s political aspirations did not play a part in the situation.”

Brady spoke freely this week about his checkered employment past with the Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation but wasn’t ready to discuss in detail his departure from Equity.

“That’s in conflict right now, so we really can’t talk much about it,” he said.

Brady did say he refused to put his private investigator’s license in jeopardy by carrying out certain assignments that he couldn’t specify.

“We were just going round and round, and it got to the point where I was being asked to do stuff and I said, ‘Naw, it ain’t going to happen,’ ” he said.

Legal action is pending, and “I’ll have the last say eventually,” he added.

***

Brady, 56, grew up in Missoula and graduated from Loyola High School before serving four years in the Air Force. He cites his long career as a criminal investigator on his campaign website.

He spent seven years with the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office – the last three as a property crime detective and then a narcotics detective – before beginning work with the Department of Justice’s Criminal Investigation Division in 1985.

Brady’s time with the state agency was marked by a fast rise to the position of agent in charge of the Missoula region and a demotion in 1992 that Brady appealed, unsuccessfully, to the Montana Supreme Court.

He was dismissed from the department in 1996 after being charged with perjury, then was reinstated a year later under orders of an arbitrator.

Six years later, in May 2003, he was fired from the Department of Justice again, this time for using state time and resources to conduct an unauthorized investigation into a Missoula Police Department case that involved a relative of Brady’s. Brady appealed but lost, and he chose not to pursue the matter further.

“I was still paying off legal bills on my first (appeal) when I was demoted in 1992,” Brady said. “I didn’t have money to fight them, and my wife said, ‘I don’t think God wants you to be there any more.’ ”

After spending the next couple of years helping wife Bobbi in a business venture, Chocolate Necessities, he joined Equity Management in 2006 as a process server. Brady said at the management’s behest he renewed his license in order to open up the company’s private investigation department.

He believes he was one of only three licensed private investigators with the company when he was fired.

Brady’s dismissal from Equity came in the heat of the political campaign season.

He’s seeking public office for the first time, on a platform of improving Missoula County’s economy, limiting government and lowering property taxes.

Brady said he expected his past employment issues to come to light as the campaign winds down, and said he welcomed the chance to talk about them.

“It’s too bad that we’ve got to go this route instead of the issues, but I am not surprised,” Brady said. “Like I’ve said in my stump speeches, my biggest thing is I question rules and regulations, I question if I think what I’m told to do is wrong. I question authority.”

He’s never been a well-liked employee, he allowed, “because I wouldn’t play politics, I wouldn’t play those games, I wouldn’t do certain things that they ordered me to do, and that’s what has happened.”

“What I’ve told people,” Brady added, “is maybe as county commissioner, where I can’t get fired except for by the people, I can question everything.”

Reporter Kim Briggeman can be reached at 523-5266 or at kbriggeman@missoulian.com.

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(25) comments

Lone wolf

Big daddy you don't know what you r talking about so you shouldn't say anything.

Lone wolf

Are you people of Missoula kidding me. You don't see the handwriting on the wall. It's a smear tactic and jean Curtiss should be ashamed. Talk about dirty politics. Mark Brady is the most upstanding and honest man I know. Have any of you tried to stand up to the state of Montana or the police dept? I have and if you don't have lots of money to fight them you will loose. I know first hand. Give the man a chance. Go talk to him. He won't lie. He will tell you the truth. Ask the other people that were involved and they will lie to you. Wake up Missoula and vote for a good person. Don't always believe what people write. Go Mark we that know the truth are behind you.

liberal

My vote is for Jean Curtis!!

thinks

So he gets fired in 2003 for multiple instances of using his employers resources to further his own personal business gains. Now he’s fired again for unspecified reasons. DVanVorous is right, leopards don’t change their spots. Put 2 and 2 together people! Brady prevaricates by saying he was let go for refusing to perform duties that he can’t specify. Not won’t, but can’t. That’s because no such situation exists. Perjury in 1996. The same leopard and spots again in 2012.

Wrongfully Evicted
Wrongfully Evicted

"I can't cut her dialing finger off". Investigator, company time. wrongful eviction, retired highway patrol officer(s) pop bottle left behind. arrogant antagonizer. hmmmf I'm homeless, again. Wouldn't it been easier to uphold the TRO's the municipal judge ordered? to answer would take company time, and its connected to other company time, and that company time concerns hundreds of man hours and lost income from the city based on over expenditures of resources dealing with hundreds false information to law enforcement phone calls, regarding me every time.So there should be an investigation into the expenses, and why it requires cutting a dialing finger off to uphold a TRO even when the victim is 500 miles away and cannot stop the onslaught of phone calls which lasted from 1092 through 2003.Does the antagonzier smoke cigarettes as well? to go with the pop bottle? Maybe I need some new TRO's as I have new enemies.

independent

At least Brady won't be beholden to Mayor Engen (Jean Curtiss' campaign co-manager). Why do you think she only approves subdivisions that benefit her brothers, maybe to force the densification the Mayor wants in Missoula?

MtChick

I personally know Mark Brady as I worked with him at Equity. I supported Mark then and I support him now. He is not afraid to stand up for what he believes. If you are not sure who you want to vote for or if you question Mark, please attend his meetings and ask him questions. He is a good listener and urges questions. I feel he is exactly what Missoula County needs. Please go to his website bradyforcommissioner.com and decide for yourself.

diamonds

He has my vote. Jean Curtiss has got to go!

dorado

Let me get this straight, the State of Montana actually fired an employee. You've got to be kidding me, these are jobs for life. He is either brilliant and humbled his fellow employees or didn't show up for work for three years and then they fired him the fourth year with full benefits.

thisplacestinks

So he want to lower property taxes. Drives me a bit nuts. I own property in Missoula, and pay $2000 a year in property tax. After the tax rebate I get because of the mortgage, I end up paying a bit less than $100 a month in property taxes. That means I pay as much property tax as I pay for my phone or my cable tv. Property taxes are plenty low, and it drives me nuts when people complain about them. They are wed to their smart phones and expensive data plans, but complain that it costs that much money to keep the roads paved and the police and fire departments running. Selfishness. Compared to when I was renting, I will gladly pay my property taxes and own my home.

Drummer

To: This place Stinks: Excuse me, are you "stuck on stupid?" After your mortgage is paid off, you will probably be paying $4,000 if this over-taxing is not stopped. The cost of living in Missoula is too high, and the taxes are the biggest problem. Sit down with your accountant and let him/her explain how everything works. If you are so happy to be paying excessive taxes, maybe as a charitable move you could pay mine, so that I won't have to move.

R U KIDDING

You, are an idiot!

R U KIDDING

This guy has my vote and as many others I can tell! Curtiss MUST GO!!!!!!!

montanamuralist
montanamuralist

Refreshing honesty does not work well with your peers often times as you try to resolve issues facing the people you serve. Does not mean to be a yes man or woman but does mean you have to be willing to compromise. I was thinking about voting for Brady to bring some diversity to the County Commission but like the style of a Larry Anderson much more. So Jean gets my vote in the interest of getting things done rather than arguing all the time...

bigdady

This guy sounds like your average R always blame someone else when your caught in the act , every one should puke then vote for this guy go Jean

Dub

Mark Brady is exactly what we need as a commissioner. He will stand up to Bill Carey (the most irrelevant commissioner we have ever had) and work with Mischelle Landquist as she can be salvaged as an asset if Curtiss is gone. Ms. Curtiss is a bully that is resorting to very underhanded tactics with this article---several people expected that she would bring the campaign into the mud and she has. The people of Missoula County deserve better than Curtiss and Brady will bring logic, balance and a sense of what it will take to kick start our economy and be a place that is business friendly and make it a place to be proud of again.

Drummer

Mark Brady is a good man who will bring integrity and honor to our local government. He will listen to the people and because of his experience will be able to locate areas that the people are being disenfranchised. Don't think for one minute that the established regime is not worried. Mark is intelligent and is like a breath of fresh air. I agree with capn butch....something smells fishy here for this story to be released in this manner just before the election. The Kochs are Democrats, and Mark is running on the Republican ticket, this causes me to be suspicious. The reporter needs to look into Jean Curtiss's background and report on how she is shutting down businesses and terrorizing ranchers. Now that is where there is a real story!

DVanVorous

By his own admissions he was dismissed for perjury then again later for using county assets for personal reasons how can you say he has any sort of integrity? I'm sorry but leopards DON'T change spots and any sort of public office is off limits for that kind of ethics in my book. I'll vote "None of the Above" before voting for someone with that type of history...

MT4EVR
MT4EVR

Brady was helping out a family member in a time of need and provided evidence to help in legal defense - the only person peeved was the county attorney who got embarassed by the truth. Are you seriously saying that you will not vote for someone who does the right thing in an uncomfortable situation? No wonder our country is in a jam. We need leaders - not robots.

Drummer

Perjury is what the State charged him with.....he never admitted to perjury. Any information about a person's employment is confidential. Voters need to be thinkers, too. Don't be bamboozled by this smear campaign. Boss Tweed and Curtiss will stoop to all-time lows not to lose their powers of position. Check into what Curtiss is doing to push small businesses out of town. Ravalli County severed themselves from the Missoula Economic Development because Curtiss & Engen don't know what they are doing. What help did they offer to Stimson and Smurfit Stone? None...they turned their heads. Ask why, rather than cover up for these curmudgeons who are fleecing the taxpayers.

Sukey

Sorry I can't vote for this guy as I'm out of the area he's running in. With the corruption in Montana, you frequently need a lone wolf rather than a popular "prom queen" candidate who is everyone's friend and refuses to rock the boat. I don't know the woman he's running against, but I know the type. The problems are serious, the corruption is at every level in Montana. You need strong personalities that "question authority" because its the "authority"- i.e. government officials- who are perpetuating the corruption.

capnbutch2000

I will vote for this man because I know a good bit about him and because his opponent has spoken out of turn elsewhere. The attack was made on an issue for which the law allows no response. It is the same with your own job anywhere you work.

Questioning someone's employment history is like discussing the neighbor girl's virginity. 1. It is nobody's business. 2. It is not possible for the girl to defend. 3. Such a discussion leaves the discusser open to retaliation by family and other neighbors. 4. It just isn't done.

I have chatted at length with Mr. Brady and found him intelligent, experienced and (and this is especially important now) respectful.

In my own career I have been forced to fire several bosses. They are not allowed to discuss those things and neither am I though each separation brought me better wages and more authority.

A county commissioner is required to maintain a significant number of confidences. If Mr. Brady's competitor opened this exceedingly private issue, then we must ask what may be going on inside the courthouse on other matters. That worry would include circumstances of your own business and home plans, your own financial relationships, your employment record (if any) for the county.

If the woman happens to retain her position, I will make sure that she is watched carefully for any other improprieties. This must not happen again.

LilyVonShtupp

Too much drama, too many unanswered questions, and too litigious. I want a county commissioner who is willing to keep their mouth shut and ears open, not an arrogant antagonizer.

wildmtn

Really? I think an "arrogant antagonizer" may be just what we need in Missoula County. A candidate who has the integrity to stand up for what he believes is right, even to powerful employers, may just be willing to stand up to the political pressure of the status quo. I think someone with the honesty to say he wouldn't have done it any other way when faced with a last-minute smear attempt might bring some refreshing honesty to the County Commissioner seat. Go Mark.

MT4EVR
MT4EVR

Mouth Shut??? We need a leader not a putz who follows political surveys.

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