Earlier this month, Mineral County closed its only jail for lack of staff. Now, county officials are scrambling to replace the local sheriff who abruptly resigned this week.
"We were made aware of the sheriff resigning – the captain in Missoula for the Montana Highway Patrol was made aware – and he notified us at DOJ of the situation," says Montana Department of Justice spokesman, Eric Sell.
Mineral County Commissioners could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but Sell says they planned to appoint Undersheriff Mike Boone to replace Sheriff Tom Bauer.
The Associated Press reports Boone resigned mainly because of his, "disenchantment with county commissioners."
He quit hours before local officials were set to announce recommendations to reopen the jail.
"It is a bit of an odd situation, but this isn’t a situation where the public needs to panic," says Eric Sell of the Department of Justice. "Like I said, the Department of Justice will provide any backup, any assistance that the county needs in a time when they're short-staffed. While this isn't a cause for concern, it's certainly important the county move swiftly to fill any vacant positions that they have the resources to fill."
The last of Mineral County’s inmates were transported to other facilities two weeks ago.