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Officers disciplined for sex identify selves, 1 resigns

May 15, 2018

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Three Billings police officers who were suspended without pay for having sex on city property or while on duty identified themselves Tuesday and one has resigned.

Attorney Vincent Salminen confirmed to The Billings Gazette that Paul LaMantia resigned. Officers Matt Edwards and Clint Anglin identified themselves in statements given to KULR-TV.

The identifications came a day after District Judge Don Harris ruled the names of the officers should be made public. However, the judge gave the officers 48 hours to appeal the decision.

LaMantia, who has been an officer since 2009, was suspended for a week without pay for having sex with a civilian department employee at City Hall while he was off duty. He also had a previous disciplinary record.

Anglin and Edwards, who have been officers since 2010 and 2012 respectively, were suspended for two weeks without pay for having sex with the same woman on separate occasions while they were on duty.

In their statements they apologized to the department and the community for their actions and for the embarrassment they caused their families and friends. Anglin and Edwards said they planned to remain on the force.

Edwards was honored by the Billings Optimist Club in 2016 for taking students on ride-alongs and “always promoting his profession and exposing these students to the positive side of law enforcement.”

LaMantia’s disciplinary record with the department included a recommendation that he be fired for serious misconduct after he drove two intoxicated people who were causing disturbances in downtown Billings outside of the city limits at 3 a.m. on Jan. 23, 2012, and endangered their lives by leaving them on the side of the road when the temperature was 20 degrees.

Department documents said LaMantia violated policy by interjecting himself into calls answered by other officers who were aware that the transients were intentionally violating no trespass orders in an effort to be arrested and taken to jail.

The transients were eventually picked up by Yellowstone County sheriff’s deputies after someone reported seeing a man sitting on the side of the road north of Billings. Deputies said the transients were very intoxicated and stumbling into traffic.

After an investigation, LaMantia signed a “last chance agreement” that was in effect for two years. He was suspended for two weeks without pay and had to attend ethics and integrity training, cultural diversity training and write letters of apology to the transients and the sheriff.

LaMantia also was the subject of an internal affairs investigation in May 2015 for an off-duty assault on a Laurel police officer who was a former business partner.

A partner or family member assault case filed against the same Laurel officer in 2016 was dismissed last year after the alleged victim testified that when LaMantia delivered the subpoena to attend the officer’s trial, LaMantia urged her to testify.

The city judge declared a mistrial based on witness tampering. The Laurel officer successfully argued that re-trying him amounted to double jeopardy.


Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

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