Former Ravalli County Treasurer Valerie Stamey has filed an appeal of the Federal District Court order issued in December dismissing her case filed against sitting and former county commissioners, other county officials and employees and the co-publisher of the Bitterroot Star, Michael Howell. Following the recent suspension and disbarment of Hamilton attorney Robert Myers, who was representing her in the case, Stamey has filed a notice of appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals representing herself pro se.
In the suit that was dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Dana Christensen, Stamey was seeking $20 million in damages for what she claims was her illegal firing from her position as Treasurer. Judge Christensen notes in his order of dismissal that it was an “expeditious resolution” of the litigation which “facilitates the court’s need to manage its docket,” adding, “These factors are especially important in Stamey’s case owing to Myers’ insistent filing of bizarre motions and briefs which fail to comply with the local rules, are frequently filed after the deadline has passed, and are incoherent.”
In a separate case filed against the Bitterroot Star and co-publishers Michael and Victoria Howell, in which Stamey and her husband seek over $8 million in damages, Christensen gave them 30 days from the date of the order (January 5, 2018) to notify the Court of their representation by new counsel or of their intent to proceed pro se. It was further ordered that responses to both Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment and Motion to Strike must be filed no later than February 25, 2018.
In this case, the Stameys allege that the Howells and the Bitterroot Star published a story about Richard Stamey’s campaign finance report violation that they knew to be false.