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Polson police chief resigns after DUI charge

| April 19, 2023 12:00 AM

Polson Police Chief Wade Nash stepped down from his role last week and announced that he will officially retire from the force May 2. The announcement followed the chief’s DUI arrest April 8.

Captain George Simpson has been named interim police chief.

According to news reports, Montana Highway Patrol was asked by the Polson Police Department to investigate a crash within the city limits at 4:08 a.m. Saturday.

According to the citation, Nash hit a parked vehicle in the 700 block of 12th St. E. in Polson. He was arrested on the scene, and refused a blood alcohol test. He will appear in Lake County Justice Court later this month.

Polson City Manager Ed Meece said he first heard about the incident Saturday afternoon.

“I had communication with some city staff that an incident had occurred,” he said Tuesday.

He’s “had conversations with the chief over the last couple of days” prior to their meeting Tuesday morning, when Nash announced his decision to step down.

According to Meece, Nash also said “he has had an unfortunate health situation arise in his family separate from Friday night’s incident and so will take sick leave from this point through May 2.”

Meece said it was unlikely the city will pursue any disciplinary action.

“As I understand it right now it was an off-duty incident and did not involve a city vehicle,” he said. “Having reviewed what’s available, there really isn’t a path for the city to go forward with any kind of disciplinary process.”

Nash was appointed police chief for the City of Polson in December 2011, and joined the force in 2007. He also served as interim city manager for two years before Meece was hired.

Since moving to Montana in 1997, Nash has also worked for the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and with the Northwest Montana Drug Task Force. He’s currently the president of the Montana Association of Chiefs of Police.