Ex-cop sentenced to jail, probation on meth charge

Scott Monette addresses Judge Donald Powell during his sentencing hearing in Houghton County Circuit Court Monday. Monette, a former police officer, was sentenced to 90 days in jail for possession of methamphetamine. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette photo)

HOUGHTON — A former Houghton police officer was sentenced to three months in jail for possession of methamphetamine in Houghton County Circuit Court Monday.

Scott Monette, 55, also received 18 months of 7411 probation, which allows convictions for some first-time drug offenders to be expunged if successfully completed. He was given credit for one day served.

As a condition of his plea agreement, Monette relinquished his law enforcement license. His last day had been Dec. 31, 2021, he said Monday.

During his sentencing hearing Monday, Monette tearfully addressed Iron County Probate Judge Donald Powell, who was overseeing the case via teleconference. He thanked the state for offering probation, and apologized to his wife.

“I vowed to her that I would be the best husband, father, grandfather, son, brother and friend that I could possibly be until the day I died,” he said. “I made a horrible mistake. A horrible, horrible mistake, and I can’t describe what it’s like crawling back from a significant moral error. At my age, it’s virtually impossible. But I’m trying, and I’m succeeding.”

The possession charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. The 90-day sentence fell in the middle of the recommended sentencing range of zero to six months.

Powell said he had to weigh four factors: the message to society, the message to Monette, rehabilitation and punishment.

The message he wanted to give the community — people who use meth will be caught, and serve as long in jail as possible — had him leaning towards a six-month sentence.

“I also want to send a message to the community that our law enforcement officers, judges, nurses, teachers are not above the law,” he said. “If anything, we’re held to a higher standard.”

But whatever message needed to be sent to Monette, he’d already gotten, Powell said.

“I believe Mr. Monette that he’s never going to use methamphetamine again,” he said. “And in terms of punishment, Mr. Monette has suffered severe punishment already.”

Monette’s attorney, Sarah Henderson, said Monette had begun using methamphetamine in 2021 to get through the construction work he had taken on as a side job to support his family. At the same time, he was also remodeling his own home, she said.

“What all that work did was yield very little time for anything other than work and this misguided notion that the way he could fuel the fire and fuel the work was use drugs,” she said.

Monette had spent about two decades in law enforcement, Henderson said. His service had included acts of heroism, she said, such as joining other officers to save the life of a girl stabbed by the person who had killed her mother.

“He nearly lost everything: His job, his family, his whole entire life, nearly gone,” she said. “But through his own determination, through his wife’s love and his family’s love, and through the help of God, he will tell you he was saved. He is a miracle.”

There were no officers in court Monday for Monette’s surrender. Instead, the judge told Monette to turn himself in by 7 p.m. Friday.


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