HELENA — A Helena police officer is on paid administrative leave, in connection with an investigation into discrepancies in the finances of the officers’ labor union.
Jared Ryan, president of the Helena Police Protective Association board, said leaders noticed discrepancies related to the allocation of HPPA funds during a regular financial review earlier this month.
“Upon discovering the discrepancies, we immediately notified the Helena Police Department administration, and have requested that an investigation be conducted by appropriate authorities—both within and outside the Helena Police Department,” he said in a statement.
HPD Chief Steve Hagen said the officer was put on leave on Aug. 12. He said a criminal investigation is being conducted by the Montana Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation. HPD will also do its own internal personnel investigation.
Ryan said the officer has also been removed from the HPPA board during the investigation. He said the board has reviewed its policies and procedures to ensure members’ funds are protected.
The HPPA represents sworn police officers below the rank of sergeant, as well as HPD support staff.
Ryan said the total amount of the discrepancies has not been determined yet.
“We are disappointed that we have been put in the position to request an investigation of one of our own,” he said. “However, it is of the utmost importance to us that a thorough and complete investigation be conducted that will comprehensively determine the scope of this issue.”