Missoula County recently settled a discrimination and right to privacy claim involving allegations made by deputy Rebecca Birket with the Missoula County Sheriff's Office from events that occurred in 2012, while Carl Ibsen was sheriff.

Current Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott said on Wednesday, that the settlement will include specialized training for his staff.

"I think it's a good settlement," McDermott said. "Part of the settlement is some training in the area of discrimination and right to privacy of our employees. It's a proactive opportunity for our agency to bring in some training and make sure our people are treating each other with dignity and respect."

While McDermott said, due to confidentiality rules within the sheriff's department, that he could not identify the individual involved, or the incident that occurred, he did say that there were difficulties in the sheriff's office in 2012.

"What we've learned is that there were some problems in our office and we need to correct how to treat each other,and that we need to bring some training in that will teach us how to keep our workplace free of discrimination and respect our employees' right to privacy. The National Coalition Building Institute has been mentioned as one of the agencies that may provide that training."

KGVO News has confirmed with Great Falls attorney John Kutzman, that the case in question involved allegations of gender discrimination against the department made by Deputy Rebecca Birket, who is still employed by the sheriff's department.

McDermott said, without being specific, that it was 'a standard settlement'. A call to Jeffrey Smith of Garlington, Lohn and Robinson regarding the specifics of the settlement, was not returned to KGVO News before this story was published.

In February, 2014, McDermott and his Undersheriff Jason Johnson settled with the county, each receiving $60,000 when they claimed political discrimination against Sheriff Ibsen.

KGVO News is awaiting word on receiving a copy of the settlement from Kutzman.



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