Sheriff’s official charged with DUI

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A veteran law enforcement officer and former candidate for Flathead County Sheriff was cited Saturday night for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.

Flathead County Sheriff’s Corporal Bruce Parish was ticketed and released by the Kalispell Police Department after a report that a transient had been run over at the VFW on First Street West.

Parish registered a blood-alcohol level of .165 — more than twice the legal limit — according to documents obtained through Kalispell Municipal Court.

Kalispell Police Chief Roger Nasset said his department still is investigating the case and has not determined if Parish ran the man over. He was driving a red Ford pickup truck in the parking lot prior to his arrest.

So far, Parish has been charged only with driving under the influence. It’s his first DUI, according to court records.

Law enforcement and paramedics were called to the scene at about 10 p.m. Saturday. Nasset said an injured man was treated at Kalispell Regional Medical Center and released.

Nasset said investigators are trying to determine when the man was injured.

“The individual that may or may not have been hit might have been passed out or extremely intoxicated on the ground,” Nasset said.

Sheriff Mike Meehan said Parish has not been disciplined.

“At the conclusion of the case in Kalispell Municipal Court I will review the case and determine the necessary internal [disciplinary] measures,” Meehan said.

Parish unsuccessfully challenged Meehan in the Republican primary campaign in 2006 for sheriff/coroner.

Parish was a law enforcement specialist in the U.S. Air Force and said during the campaign that he has nearly 25 years of experience.

He was hired as a patrol officer with the Sheriff’s Office in 1991. From 1992 to 1996, he worked on the SWAT team and later led it. He was assigned to the detectives division in 1999 and was placed in charge of that department in 2002.

Meehan said Parish is currently second in command of the patrol division.

Parish appeared in court Tuesday and was released on his promise to appear for an omnibus hearing Oct. 12.

He agreed not to enter any establishment that has a primary purpose to sell alcohol.

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