2 other police officers in sex case come forward

Stars

From the Billings Police Department’s 2016 annual report.

The other two officers suspended in a sex scandal within the Billings Police Department have, apparently, now identified themselves.

Local television station KULR-8 is reporting that Scheveck and Salminen Law, the local firm representing the officers, said officers M. Edwards and Clint Anglin released statements exclusively to KULR-8, saying they were the other two officers.

Former officer Paul LaMantia announced earlier in the day, exclusively to “The Big J Show,” a radio program, that he had already resigned for his involvement in the sex scandal.

This has been a strange story that just keeps getting stranger. On Monday, when Yellowstone County District Judge Donald Harris ruled, after an open hearing, that the names of the officers should be made public, he gave Scheveck and Salminen 48 hours to produce arguments for what they said would an appeal to the Montana Supreme Court.

A bit earlier in the proceedings, Harris asked the three lawyers for the officers how much time they would like to have, if any were granted by the court. One of the lawyers, Vince Salminen, said he’d like to have two weeks.

Asked why by Harris, Salminen responded, “so they (the officers) can take the story into their own hands.” Asked by the judge what he meant by that, Salminen simply repeated himself, using slightly different words.

Today, they appear to have taken the story into their hands, by releasing individual letters of explanation and apology to “The Big J Show.” LaMantia’s letter was posted on the Big J Facebook page in the morning and letters from the other two were posted at about noon.

“M. Edwards” was identified on that Facebook page as officer Matt Edwards. KULR reported that Anglin has been an police officer since 2010 and Edwards since 2012.

Based on earlier reports, both officers were suspended for two weeks without pay for having sex with a departmental clerk while on duty, one of them in the basement of City Hall and one in or on a patrol car parked on private property.

LaMantia had been suspended without pay at least once before, and placed under a “last chance agreement,” but it is not known whether Anglin or Edwards had been subjected to any previous disciplinary actions.

Last Best News had already asked the City Attorney’s Office for complete disciplinary records for all three officers, if and when their names were released. That request is pending.

Anglin is mentioned in Billings Gazette archives only in relation to his hiring. The only story about Edwards was published in 2016, when he received the Billings Optimist Club’s Respect for the Law Community Award.

The story said he was a Youth Football League coach who was “involved in the Work for Life Career Home Economics program in schools,” and “has taken several students for ride-alongs, always promoting his profession and exposing these students to the positive side of law enforcement.”

In his letter of apology, Edwards said the activities for which he was suspended “took place several years ago during a moment of weakness and poor decision making.”
“My family never deserved any of this,” he went on. “I will have to live with that fact that I put them through this for the rest of my life. … It has caused embarrassment to everyone it has touched, most importantly my wife and children. They have experienced everything from stares and whispers to public shaming.”
Anglin use similar words, saying he wanted to “directly apologize to my family and friends for causing any embarrassment in their lives but also thank them for the valued support that have provided during this difficult process.”
Both officers complained of having been portrayed negatively by some “media outlets” — they both used that term — but it was not clear what they meant, since they have not been named publicly until today.

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