Flathead County Attorney Ed Corrigan doesn’t think that a complaint filed against his office by three Flathead Valley attorneys is legitimate.
Jack Quatman, Phyllis Quatman and Tim Baldwin have requested an investigation from the Attorney General’s Office into the Flathead County Attorney’s Office, alleging “unethical and criminal activities.”
“Since this is a pending investigation, I’d be in a really hard position to comment right now,” Corrigan said. “I have not been served those documents, so I haven’t had a chance to review them or respond to them. I suspect at some point the attorney general will call me and want to hear what I have to say.”
The attorneys allege that Corrigan’s office has interfered with attorney-client relationships; coerced guilty pleas from defendants by threatening them, their families or their children; and withheld discovery evidence.
“I think it’s nonsense.” Corrigan said when asked if guilty pleas were coerced by himself or Deputy County Attorney Kenneth Park by threatening defendants’ family members and threatening to take away children, as the complaint alleges.
Corrigan said that he has seen the affidavits of Cory Franklin and Kristina Franklin, who claim they have been intimidated and threatened by members of the county attorney’s office as well as the Northwest Drug Task Force.
Corrigan said that these types of complaints aren’t uncommon.
“We’re in the business of making decisions that frequently leave people unhappy,” Corrigan said. “This is one recourse that they can choose to follow.
“These sorts of things are not unusual. It’s not uncommon for a disgruntled defendant or disgruntled defense attorney to file complaints with either the attorney general or with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. So there’s a procedure that’s followed. They’ll review it and they’ll ask us for our response and we’ll give them our response as soon as we’re able to do so.”
Corrigan said that he believed the Quatmans and Baldwin filed the complaint as part of a personal agenda.
“I don’t think professionally there has been a pattern of misconduct as described,” he said. “I think it is a personal agenda on their part.
“Frankly, I don’t know them personally. I only know them professionally. And over the years there have been some difficult cases to resolve working with the Quatmans for any number of reasons. But I’ll also bring to your attention that it isn’t just with this office. They’ve managed to alienate two of our judges, Judge Curtis and Judge Lympus, because of their tactics and behavior both inside the courtroom and outside the courtroom.”
District Court Judge Kathleen Curtis retired in 2012. Judge Ted Lympus is one of four district judges currently serving Flathead County, along with Robert Allison, Heidi Ulbricht and David Ortley.