Response To Sheriffs Office Info Request


On Friday, January 4, last week, I hand delivered a request for public information to the Cascade County Attorney’s office regarding employees at the Cascade County Sheriffs Office. The names of the CCSO employees listed here were included in the FOIA because several reliable sources provided information that the CCSO employment status of these individuals had recently changed, not because they are implicated in any wrongdoing or are the targets of any investigation at any time.

Here is the entire text of the request for public information:

“Has there been a change in employment status within the last 3 months at the CC Sheriffs Office for Lt. Dave Phillips, Dan O’Fallon, John Stevens or Scott VanDyken. If so, whether the change is a termination, a paid or unpaid leave of absence, or a move to a different position/pay-scale. The date and reason for any change of employment status for the above named or any other CCSO within the last 3 months – since October 2018.”

On Monday afternoon, yesterday, I received the following email reply from the County Attorneys office.

Good afternoon Mr. Tryon-

I am in receipt of your request for public information, a copy of which is attached hereto.  I am authorized under county policy to confirm dates of employment and positions held for the individuals you requested: 

Dave Phillips was promoted from Lieutenant to the position of Undersheriff January 13, 2018.  Dave has since retired from the Sheriff’s Office, effective December 31, 2018. 

Dan O’Fallon currently serves as Commander with the Sheriff’s Office. 

John Stevens served as Undersheriff for Cascade County until his resignation on January 13, 2018.  He was hired on January 14, 2018, and currently serves as Cascade County’s Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) Coordinator. 

Scott VanDyken was promoted on March 6, 2017, and currently serves as Captain with the Sheriff’s Office.  He was also appointed on December 12, 2018, and currently serves as Acting DES Coordinator.

Thank you. Carey Ann Haight, Chief Civil Deputy, CASCADE COUNTY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE”

The information I requested was only partially provided. I assume that there are legal or other issues preventing the full disclosure of the information I requested pertaining to whether OUR employees have been placed on paid or unpaid leave and for what reason.

It seems to me that the public deserves to know the current employment status of OUR employees since they work for us.

One point of interest here is that it is stated that John Stevens “…currently serves as Cascade County’s Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) Coordinator” while Scott VanDyken “…currently serves as Acting DES Coordinator”.

Are taxpayers paying two DES Coordinators at the same time?

I will continue to dig as much as I am able to provide the public with the information they deserve on this and other local issues and matters. In the meantime readers will have to connect their own dots regarding the employment situation at CCSO, given the murky information so far.




Posted by Rick Tryon

Rick Tryon is an entrepreneur, a singer-songwriter, and is currently serving a four year term as a Great Falls City Commissioner. Helping Montana become an even greater place to live, play and work is Tryon's passion.

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One Reply to “Response To Sheriffs Office Info Request”

  1. This may help answer some of the questions regarding release of personnel information.


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