Groups applaud departure of MT state prison employee with alleged ties to white nationalism
Human rights groups on Tuesday applauded the departure of a Montana State Prison employee with alleged ties to white nationalism from the prison.
A report from the Montana Human Rights Network published in April exposed correctional officer Kelly Chambers’s ties to Butte’s Ron McVan, who worked with notorious white supremacist David Lane to create the religion “Wotanism,” which MHRN considers a racist version of Odinism.
“We are really glad to know that one potential tool that Ron McVan had to get his racist beliefs into the prison is now gone,” said Travis McAdam, director of combating white nationalism and defending democracy at MHRN.
Following the April report, the National Council on American-Islamic Relations joined MHRN in calling on the state Department of Corrections to investigate Chambers.
On Monday, the DOC confirmed that Chambers was no longer employed at the prison but would not say if they ever investigated Chambers’ ties to white nationalism.
In a statement on Tuesday, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper celebrated Chambers’s departure from the prison.
“An individual who allegedly hosted white supremacists cannot be trusted to uphold the law and treat prisoners of all backgrounds fairly,” Hooper said in the release. “We welcome news that his employment with the Montana Department of Corrections has ended.”
Chambers did not respond to an April Facebook message from the Daily Montanan about the MHRN report but has pushed back against the group’s claims in a series of Youtube videos.