Tim Fox Talks About His Time as Attorney General of Montana
On Wednesday, Tim Fox appeared on KGVO’s Talk Back show one last time as Attorney General of Montana. He reminisced about his eight years in office and spoke specifically about Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer who was shot and critically injured in the line of duty in March 2019.
“When I arrived, the chief of the Utah Highway Patrol picked me up at the airport and took me to the hospital,” Fox said. “There were literally hundreds of law enforcement officers, fire fighters and others who lined the halls and the streets in support of Wade.”
On July 20, 2020, Palmer retired after an eight-year career. The Patrol presented Palmer with its highest honor, the Medal of Valor, as well as a retirement award and a colonel’s coin. Fox said he was very pleased with how Missoula responded and supported Palmer.
“I’m really proud of the people of Missoula, Missoula County, and so many other folks who rose to the occasion when trooper Wade Palmer was shot to make sure that he and his family were provided for,” Fox said.
According to Fox, one of his biggest challenges occurred shortly after he took office.
“Just after I was sworn in as attorney general, a problem was festering and growing between the United States Department of Justice and Missoula County over sexual assault issues, not only on campus at the University of Montana, but in Missoula County as a whole,” Fox said. “I interjected myself to try to resolve these issues. There was a lawsuit filed by Missoula County against the US Department of Justice. The Department of Justice threatened that they were going to file a lawsuit against Missoula County and I got in the middle of that.”
Fox said his goal was to try to come up with a solution that instilled confidence in the justice system for the people of Montana. He wanted to make sure Montana was doing everything it could to make sure that the victims of sexual assault were given every opportunity they needed to heal and overcome the trauma of sexual assault.
Fox got involved and agreements were signed by all that parties that were involved. For a number of years, the Montana DOJ reviewed all of the decisions that Missoula County had on sexual assault cases and made sure that the very best practices were used in investigating and prosecuting those cases. Those practices were eventually implemented across the state.
Fox also faced some adversity when it came to his health, but he was able to overcome that as well.
“I was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2018,” Fox said. “Many folks said to keep that secret and don't tell anybody because it might have an impact on your ability to get elected in a future position. I said, ‘no way’. I want to make sure that Montanans understand that they need to get their health screenings and that they need to meet with their doctors and undergo those tests and procedures that will keep them healthy. It saved my life.”
As of now, Fox said he doesn’t have any official plans for his future, but he hopeful he can continue to serve the people of Montana in some capacity.