The Missoula County Sheriff's Office is investigating what appears to a fraudulent letter purportedly sent by the Missoula County Commissioners to the U.S. State Department withdrawing the county's support to help resettle immigrants.

Public Information Officer Brenda Bassett said the incident came to light when the resettlement group was meeting with Mayor John Engen, and mentioned the turnabout in the county's support.

"Somebody was meeting with city officials from the IRC (International Rescue Committee) to talk about opening their office in Missoula, and they began asking the mayor about how sad it was that he county had withdrawn its support of the immigration effort," she said. "The mayor said he had not heard anything about such a letter, which turned out to be fake. There are a few indicators that the letter was not genuine. The county's logo on the envelope is at the top left with the address on the right, and on this envelope the logo was at the left with the address directly underneath."

Bassett said whoever sent the letter could be charged with a felony.

"Impersonating a public official is a felony," Bassett said. "Right now, detectives are gathering what information they can and the investigation is underway. They're hoping to find out what prompted the writing of this letter, and we're hoping to find its author."

Bassett asked anyone with information about the letter to contact the Missoula County Sheriff's Office at 258-4810, or to call Five Valley Crimestoppers at 721-44-44.