Missoula Sheriff’s Deputy Resigns over Misconduct Allegations
Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott issued a press release on Wednesday stating that one of his deputies resigned following an internal investigation over his conduct while on duty.
After incidents that occurred in 2017 and 2018, Deputy John Leonard was accused of having inappropriate contact, first with a coffee barista and then with a female casino employee.
McDermott suspended Leonard after the first incident, and after his suspension, Leonard engaged in inappropriate contact with the casino cashier, which was captured on video.
Sheriff McDermott sent the results of the internal investigation to the Department of Criminal Investigation for a third-party review, and their conclusion was that Leonard’s actions did not rise to the level of criminal conduct, but were very unprofessional and unethical.
After consulting with the Missoula County Attorney’s office, McDermott determined that it would be in the best interests of the Sheriff’s Office to accept Leonard’s resignation immediately.
McDermott stated "We are committed to providing our community with a Sheriff’s Office that we can be proud of and trust. It is paramount that our deputies maintain the public trust that comes with their position and adhere to the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics."
McDermott thanked the DCI for its help in the investigation.