DRUMMOND - The Montana Attorney General's Office confirmed Thursday that it has opened a formal investigation into the allegations that the Granite County Commissioners, specifically Commissioner Scott Adler, have committed fraud regarding the use of tax dollars for personal projects and gain.
The allegations stem from a project that occurred at Adler's home Sept. 6-7, 2017 when neighbors and witnesses say heavy equipment from Granite County apparently paved his driveway. Citizens were concerned that Adler was using the county's equipment to improve his personal property at tax payers' expense.
Adler and the commissioners have characterized the project as a test of millings from a state highway and a mulcher that the county purchased in a state auction. The commissioners also characterized the test as a complete failure. Residents of the county do not believe that to be the case.
At the Granite County Commissioner's meeting Oct. 3, 2017, Adler admitted that the project was a bad idea and that he had paid $1,450 in restitution for the costs of the project. However, residents are concerned that the length and width of Adler's driveway compared to the estimate he presented at the meeting for the work that was done do not appear to match. According to estimates by residents and viewing satellite imagery from Google Maps, QSPNLive has estimated that the cost for the project could be as much as twice the quote given by Shadow Asphalt of Missoula.
Also at that October meeting, when questioned by a county resident Adler admitted to previously using county equipment for other personal projects on multiple occasions.
That entire meeting can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.
The Attorney General's office could release no further information now that it is an ongoing investigation.
If you have information regarding this case or other acts of fraud or misconduct by the Granite County Commissioners, you can relay that to the Attorney General's Office by contacting Investigations Bureau Chief John Strandell at 406.444.2053. The communications officer that spoke with QSPNLive indicated that if you do not reach Strandell that you can leave a message or speak to someone is his office.
NOTE - This story originally ran on QSPNLive.com October 19, 2017.