Jimmy Patelis grew up in a hardworking, blue-collar family in which his parents instilled a philosophy that hard work pays off. In 1978 he was fortunate enough to receive a football scholarship from Montana Tech. He was Captain in his senior year and named to the 1980 Associated Press All-American Team. Just recently he was inducted into the Montana Tech Football Hall of Fame.
Jimmy graduated from Montana Tech with a Bachelor's degree. He started his career at the Montana State Prison and worked his way up to a State Probation and Parole Officer. In 1990 he was appointed as a U.S. Probation Officer in Helena, MT. He moved to Billings in 1998, where he has resided since, to assume the Supervisor position in the U.S. Probation Office. In 2011 he was appointed as the Chief United States Probation Officer of the District of Montana. In 2014 he mandatorily retired due to the age requirement for Federal Law Enforcement Agents.
During his career as a U.S. Probation Officer, Jimmy was nationally known as one of the leaders in the field of community corrections. He completed the 3-year Leadership Development Program in Washington D.C. and served at the U.S. Sentencing Commission for 6 months, and appointed to the National Audit Team. His experience in budgeting and leadership, long and short-term planning, and expertise working with people of diverse backgrounds including education level, income, and ethnicity gives him excellent insight to what issues are important to local citizens.
In 2016, Jimmy was elected as House Representative for HD 52 for the 2017-2018 term. While serving in the state legislature he was appointed to the Appropriations Committee/Subsection D - Judicial Branch, Law Enforcement and Justice Committee, and the Criminal Justice Oversight Council. In addition, he was
elected Vice-Chairman of the Law and Justice Interim Committee.
On a personal level, Jimmy has been a football coach at Butte High School, coached Billings Little Guy Football for 5 years, as well as his children’s soccer and baseball teams. He is currently a football coach at Ben Steele Middle School. He enjoys golfing, fishing, and weightlifting. Jimmy is just your average guy who enjoys being around people.
Jimmy has been married to Carin for 21 years and has four children.