POST votes to revoke Sheriff Edwards’ certificates

Posted at 8:20 AM, Apr 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-04 10:20:32-04

The Montana Public Safety Officer Standards & Training Council (POST) Case Status Committee has voted to revoke Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards police and coroner certificates.

In June of 2017, Edwards was attending the Law Enforcement Conference in Helena when he and his girlfriend got into a loud argument in their hotel room. He was charged with misdemeanor assault but later entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with Helena City Attorney Thomas Jodoin.

The committee stated during a February hearing that alcohol, a physical altercation, and a gun were all factors in the incident between Edwards and his girlfriend.

The committee gave Edwards 30 days to surrender his certification. He made a counter-offer of probation for six months starting in June 2017.

According to Cascade County Attorney Josh Racki, there is no legal requirement for a sheriff to be POST-certified. Racki also said that once elected, a sheriff must complete a basic coroner course.

We talked to Edwards on Monday about what could happen during Tuesday’s hearing: "Depending on how the outcome is, I have a right to a hearing. After the hearing, I can always appeal it to a District Court but that’s depending on how it is. But I am prepared to do anything I can,” Edwards said.

After the revocation decision was made, Edwards told MTN News: "All I have asked is for them to be fair and consistent, and I feel they have done neither. I will not drop out of the race. I have a lot of support and I will keep doing my job." 

The revocation of Edwards’ certificates will be official once the director signs the paperwork.

Sheriff Edwards announced in March that he will run for his third term as sheriff.

What is POST? According to the Montana Department of Justice website

The Council was formed in 2007 under 2-15-2029, MCA as an independent Quasi-judicial board. And as allowed by statute the Council adopted Administrative Rules in order to implement the provisions of Title 44, chapter 4, part 4, MCA.

Per 44-4-403, MCA the Council is required to set employment and training standards for all Public Safety Officers as defined in 44-4-401, MCA and in addition the Council shall provide for the certification or recertification of public safety officers and for the suspension or revocation of certification of public safety officers.