By Michael Howell
Deputy County Treasurer JoAnne Johnson submitted her resignation to Ravalli County Treasurer Valerie Stamey in writing last Wednesday, November 20. It stated simply:
“I am regretfully submitting my resignation effective 11-27-2013. Due to extenuating circumstances, I am only able to give you a week notice.”
Johnson has worked in the county tax office for 24 years and was elected and served two terms as County Treasurer. She lost her bid for the office to Mary Hudson-Smith in the 2010 elections. Hudson-Smith was not up to the task, however, and resigned in mid-February 2011, after serving for six weeks. Johnson applied to replace Hudson-Smith but the Commissioners chose another department employee, Marie Keeton. Keeton took office by appointment on March 3, 2011. On April 4, 2011, Johnson was hired to serve as Chief Deputy Treasurer.
Keeton ran for Treasurer in the 2012 primary, defeating Valerie Stamey. However, in August of this year, Keeton resigned, citing personal reasons. Following her resignation, the Commissioners appointed Valerie Stamey as Treasurer, passing over longtime employee Linda Isaacs who was interested in the position. Johnson chose not to apply.
Both Isaacs and Johnson have recently claimed publicly that they were being forced to do the work of the Treasurer because she was unable to do it herself. They both claimed to being pressured by Stamey and Human Resources Director Robert Jenni to do the Treasurer’s job. Instead, they have both resigned.
Stamey and Jenni have both denied the allegations.