News & Features

Columbia Falls Settles with Ousted Police Chief

Former chief accusing the city of wrongfully terminating him

Dave Perry, the former Columbia Falls police chief, has settled out of court a year after accusing the city of wrongfully terminating him.

According to court records, attorneys for Perry and the City of Columbia Falls agreed to a settlement at a conference on May 26. An attorney for the city reached by the Beacon declined to comment on the settlement’s details.

According to court records, Perry was terminated on July 1, 2016 after the city conducted an investigation into a May incident where a man accused of assaulting his girlfriend walked out of the Columbia Falls Police Department. The escape, which occurred under Perry’s watch, led to an hour-long manhunt. While city officials said Perry’s termination stems from the May escape and his response to it, the former chief stated the city manager wanted him out before that.

Perry first joined the Columbia Falls Police Department in 1978.