County Attorney: No Action Will Be Taken Against Libby Mayor

By Beacon Staff

Lincoln County Attorney Bernard Cassidy will not pursue a case against Libby Mayor Doug Roll after Roll repaired a city-owned vehicle. Councilor Allen Olsen accused Roll of breaking conflict-of-interest laws when his auto garage billed the city for work last month.

Olsen says he is now looking to file a civil lawsuit against the mayor in District Court.

“The bottom line is he knows he did something wrong and it’s up to me to do something about it,” Olsen said. “I’m not going to drop this because if someone doesn’t do something, next time it will be $50,000.”

Roll says he was not surprised by the attorney’s decision.

“I never thought I did anything wrong,” he said.

A longstanding conflict between the mayor and Olsen reemerged earlier this winter when the Libby Wastewater Treatment Plant sent a truck to Roll’s DP Automotive. Roll said he has repeatedly told city employees to not bring vehicles to his shop, unless it’s a last resort.

Maintenance supervisor Corky Pape said the water plant crew needed its truck back and he didn’t have time to call around to other shops to see if they could make the repair. He directed an employee to bring it to Roll’s shop. There, it was fixed for $289.20, which included labor and a new part.

In early February the bill came before the city council for approval. Olsen voted against paying the bill because he believed Roll had broken various sections of Montana Code Annotated. On Feb. 21, Olsen wrote a letter to the county attorney asking him to take action against Roll under MCA 2-2-144, which covers enforcement of local government.

On March 1, Cassidy responded to Olsen, saying that MCA 2-2-144 did not cover section 7-3-4256, the conflict of interest law he said Roll broke, and thus the county would not take action against the mayor.

“I got the answer I expected,” Olsen said. “Everyone knows Bernard Cassidy hasn’t been doing his job for years.”

Olsen said last week he was gathering the paperwork needed to file a civil action suit against Roll in District Court. Last month, Olsen said Roll would have a hard time being reelected this year because of the allegations.

Roll said he hasn’t made a decision about his political future, but added recent events wouldn’t influence it.

“It’s too bad everyone is wasting their time with this,” he said. “It is just more harassment from Allen Olsen.”

This is not the first time a disagreement between Roll and Olsen spilled into public view. Last year, Olsen called the mayor a “dictator” because he wouldn’t put the newly elected councilor onto any boards. Roll said he didn’t have to appoint Olsen to anything because he didn’t live in the city. In July, Roll appointed Olsen to a handful of boards.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.