Big Sky Roundup

Corrections officer with alleged ties to White nationalist group no longer employed at Montana State Prison

By: - August 29, 2022 6:58 pm

Montana State Prison. Keith Schubert/Daily Montanan.

A correctional officer who was reported to have ties to White nationalism is no longer employed at the Montana State Prison, the department said Friday.

In an April 1 report by the Montana Human Rights Network, the group outlined how former correctional officer Kelly Chambers had ties to Butte’s Ron McVan — who worked with David Lane, a notable White supremacist, to create the religion “Wotanism,” which MHRN calls a racist version of Odinism.

Carolynn Bright, spokesperson for the Montana Department of Corrections, would not comment on whether Chambers was fired or if he resigned or if the department ever investigated the claims made against Chambers.

“Montana law prohibits the department from commenting on personnel matters,” Bright repeated in response to multiple questions from the Daily Montanan.

In previous statements, Bright said the department has a “zero-tolerance policy for unlawful discrimination in the workplace.”

The Montana Human Rights Network started looking into Chambers in March 2021 after he hosted a “gathering of white nationalist neo-pagans” in Butte and it continued digging into his ties to Wotanism. The group’s research was compiled into a report, which outlined the ins and outs of Chambers’s involvement with McVan and Wotanism.

Following the report, the National Council on American-Islamic Relations joined the Montana Human Rights Network in calling on the state Department of Corrections to investigate an employee’s ties to a white nationalist group.

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Keith Schubert
Keith Schubert

Keith Schubert was born and raised in Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2019. He has worked at the St.Paul Pioneer Press, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and most recently, the Asbury Park Press, covering everything from local craft fairs to crime and courts to municipal government to the Minnesota state legislature. In his free time, he enjoys cheering on Wisconsin sports teams and exploring small businesses. Keith is no longer a reporter with the Daily Montanan.