by Leanna Rodabaugh, Stevensville
I feel everyone needs to know the REAL story behind Brandon Dewey’s theft of town money, time, and resources.
On June 22, 2020, I was served papers suing me along with co-defendant Regina Plettenburg, Ravalli County Election Administrator, Dewey had hired a high-powered legal firm in Missoula to handle his effort to stop the recall against his office of mayor. The attorney firm was Boone Karlberg P.C. Here is what the suit was about: “The Court should issue injunctive relief and/or a writ of prohibition prohibiting Defendant Election Administrator from further processing of the Recall Petition and preventing any Recall Election.” The suit claimed my facts were false and misleading, and the suit asked for monetary relief.
Since I am known to have very little ability to pay for legal services and fees, I presume the attorneys felt Ravalli County would have to pay any funds incurred. At any rate, a hearing was scheduled, and I spent quite a bit of time trying to locate an attorney. I failed. Not one attorney wanted to deal with anything involving Stevensville. I represented myself at the hearing in District Court. I felt like an idiot. But after questioning some of the parties involved, the judge wanted more information. Thankfully, the extra time allowed for an attorney to represent me to be found.
I got lucky. My attorney fashioned a wonderful brief and presented it to the judge on my behalf. When the ruling from the district judge was released, we had won on every point. The recall would go forth. The judge labeled Brandon Dewey with “official misconduct.
The election was held in November 2020. The recall failed by a few votes. And Brandon Dewey has acted like a dictator ever since. He has taken this recall result and REPEATEDLY abused his oath of office. Let me back up. The recall was based on an illegal contract the mayor initiated, obligating the town of Stevensville to thousands of dollars a year in computer services fees. (2100/month). Since this one contract (hidden in a last minute budget) the mayor has obligated us to additional contracts. He, also, used the town attorney to help with the recall. We paid for this. We have “My Sidewalks” $23,000/year, a contract for dog licenses 1200/year (only generates about 300/year, BDS contract for water/sewer billing $532/month. Also, part of the recall was misuse of the town purchasing policy. Mr. Dewey just spent over $92,000 for new computer hardware and tablets without council approval.
THEN since Mr. Dewey thinks he has unlimited spending powers, last December, he had the town employees write a check to Boone Karlberg for his attorney fees. The amount $12,020.20. This, because he lost the lawsuit against me and Regina. How he justified this was twisted and strained logic. Apparently, a lawsuit concerning a government official in Helena ended with the attorney fees being paid by the city. This official was sued. Our
mayor initiated a lawsuit and had absolutely no right to do what he did. Yet, Mr. Dewey with wide open boyish sincerity claims he didn’t intend to steal town funds. He states he paid the funds back.
BUT folks, understand he only paid the money back when he was ordered by the town attorney to do so. AND, it took 7 months for him to get around to implementing the pay back. So he had personal use of over $12,000 for 7 months. He paid back no interest and the investigation cost the town over $3,000
Is this corruption? You will have to decide for yourself. I do know that we have someone in town hall who controls every aspect of town government. He has tracking apps on every employee phone. He controls the emails sent to the town and answers some of the council emails. I ask again, is this corrupt? I know my answer to this question.