by Evelyn Pyburn- originally published in Yellowstone County News in November 27th issue.
BILLINGS — Following his arrest for alleged driving while under the influence of alcohol, County Emergency and General Services Director Duane Winslow has resigned his position.
Winslow was an employee of Yellowstone County for 25 years.
Winslow, 56, was arrested on Nov. 6 by a Billings police officer who responded to a complaint about a possible drunk driver on Bench Boulevard. Winslow was tested at the scene and a breath sample showed he had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.16 – about twice the legal limit.
Winslow notified Yellowstone County Commissioners of his arrest the next morning, and told them that he had been driving his county-assigned vehicle at the time. Following policy, county commissioners placed him on paid administrative leave and began an internal investigation. He was asked to turn in access keys, remove personal items from his office and refrain from the worksite, until the matter was resolved.
Winslow entered a “not guilty” plea to the misdemeanor charge in Municipal Court on Nov. 10. The court released him on $1,045 bond.
Commissioners said that Winslow had been a good county employee. His resignation eliminates any need for action on the part of the county commissioners.
County Commissioners said that they are evaluating the position that Winslow held before they decide whether to refill it. Winslow was being paid $82,256 a year as emergency and general services director. He began working for the county as a motor vehicle supervisor in 1990 and became elections administrator in 1994. He became emergency services director in 2010.
“We don’t just always fill a vacancy,” said County Commissioner Jim Reno. “We don’t just do something because that’s the way we have always done it.”
The commissioners are trying to determine if there is a more efficient way to cover the services provided by the emergency and general services director.
Public Works Director Tim Miller has said that he believes some of the duties can be performed through his office, with perhaps the addition of an assistant, said Reno.