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Missoula Police Investigating Alleged Breach At County Attorney's Office

Former Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg (File photo).

The Missoula County Attorney says her predecessor may have improperly removed a box from what’s supposed to be a secure file storage area. Missoula police are investigating an alleged breach at the County Attorney’s secure file storage area. That’s where confidential criminal justice information is kept.

In a press release, County Attorney Kirsten Pabst said witnesses identified former county attorney Fred Van Valkenburg as one of the people who entered the locked area last Tuesday.

Van Valkenburg confirms to MTPR news that he was there.

He declined to be interview on tape, but says he asked a facilities manager for permission to gain access to the secure area to take a box of personal effects.

Van Valkenburg says that box contained things like photos, old campaign material and birthday cards. He insists he did not take one single file and had a member of the facilities staff examine the box contents.

Van Valkenburg suspects he’s being singled out because he’s asked to file a “Friend of the Court” brief in the Cody Marble case.

Marble was imprisoned at the age of 17 for allegedly raping a 13-year-old boy in 2002.

County Attorney Kirsten Pabst recently moved to dismiss the case against him. Marble’s since been released from jail. Pabst declined to be interviewed citing the ongoing investigation. She says the county is re-examining security procedures.

O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the University of Montana School of Journalism. His first career job out of school was covering the 1995 Montana Legislature. When the session wrapped up, O’Brien was fortunate enough to land a full-time position at the station as a general assignment reporter. Feel free to drop him a line at
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