GREAT FALLS, Mont. — A Montana sheriff has been charged with misdemeanor partner or family member assault while attending the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association annual convention in Helena.

Helena Police arrested Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards on Thursday after his girlfriend reported he pushed her into a television stand in their hotel room.

Cascade County Undersheriff John Stevens held a news conference Friday to say the arrest will not impact law enforcement in the county.

Stevens said Edwards was released Thursday night and returned to Great Falls. He said Edwards was expected to issue a statement in the coming week.

Edwards is a 19-year veteran of the sheriff’s office and has been sheriff since December 2010.

County commissioner Joe Briggs said that because Edwards is an elected official, commissioners have no authority to discipline him.