Friday, May 20, 2011

Appointment of new marshal delayed

Scheduling conflict and family concern given as reasons

Express Staff Writer

According to information provided earlier by the Blaine County Sheriff's Office, Sgt. Brad Gelskey was supposed to be Bellevue's new marshal by now. Instead, official appointment to the job is now planned for June 9.

Bellevue Mayor Chris Koch on Wednesday ascribed any delay to a scheduling mix-up, while Sheriff Gene Ramsey said the city is still trying to determine if it's legal for Gelskey to serve as Bellevue marshal in light of the fact that Gelskey's brother, Brett Gelskey. is a member of the City Council.

"Legal counsel is looking into that, but I don't think so," Koch said when asked if the Gelskey relationship could be a problem to Brad Gelskey's appointment.

Police services to Bellevue are contracted to the Sheriff's Office. After Marshal Bryan Carpita announced his resignation in April, Brad Gelskey, a 20-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, was selected for the appointment following candidate interviews by Ramsey, Koch, Blaine County Chief Deputy Ed Fuller and Bellevue Councilman Larry Pott.

The appointment is still subject to council approval, which Ramsey said earlier that he expected would take place on May 12. Approval was to be followed by swearing in, but neither happened that day.

"That was my fault for saying he was going to be sworn in on Thursday [May 12] because that was not their intent," Ramsey said.

"I made a decision to put Brad down there and they want to be legally OK with his brother Brett on council. I don't blame the city for trying to do the legal thing. We'll just get a legal opinion and move forward."

Ramsey said Brad Gelskey was the best applicant for the job and the decision to appoint him had nothing to do with Brett Gelskey's position on the council.

Koch said the current schedule is for Brad Gelskey to be introduced to the council on Thursday, May 27, and for the council to vote on the matter on Thursday, June 9. If approved, he would be sworn in that day.

In the meantime, Brad Gelskey is in training for the job with Marshal Carpita, who will transfer back to the Sheriff's Office as a lieutenant over the patrol division once released from Bellevue duty.

Terry Smith:

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