Gallatin Co. employee arrested after allegedly impersonating public official at Bozeman Motel

BOZEMAN – A Californian who allegedly said he was Gallatin County’s new sheriff was arrested on Saturday after making threats at a motel in Bozeman.

Mark K. Ward, 44, was seen in Gallatin County Court on a felony charge of impersonating an official. Ward was deputy director of public safety systems for Gallatin County. County officials are said to have terminated his employment as soon as they were informed of his arrest. Ward had been in office since February 22, 2021.


Mark K. Ward was seen in Gallatin County Court on Monday March 1, 2021

According to prosecution documents, on Saturday February 27, 2021, Bozeman officers responded to a Bozeman motel on Wheat Drive after an official reported that a guest said he was the new Gallatin County Sheriff and was using his post. “as a policeman” to demand things from the staff. Ward also reportedly threatened to shoot a guest. The manager told officers she and her employees felt compelled to give Ward a discount because of their respect and cooperation with local law enforcement.

The total amount of the discount owed to Ward’s alleged position was $ 345.61.

In an interview with a police officer, Ward said he had just moved from California to Montana to work for Gallatin County and was staying at the motel while waiting to move into his new residence in Butte. . Ward denied being the new sheriff when asked by motel staff, but he asked for a government employee rate, which he said would be higher than he would pay if he simply booked the room using an online service.

In the interview, Ward reportedly admitted that the motel waived the pet fee, giving him a different room he requested, but denied knowing it was an upgrade he received free. He denied ever introducing himself as a law enforcement officer or civil servant and said he was very disappointed with the service and his stay at the motel.

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