Utah County Attorney Declines To Prosecute Orem Mayor For Abusing Retirement Funds
Sep 19, 2019, 4:10 PM | Updated: Jul 16, 2023, 3:45 pm
(Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News)
OREM, Utah – Officials with the Utah County Attorney’s Office said they will not be prosecuting Orem Mayor Richard Brunst after he altered dates and made unauthorized withdrawals from his retirement account.
On August 1, Orem City Council members said the city discovered irregularities on forms Brunst used to make withdrawals from his retirement account.
“The irregularities include the alteration of dates associated with his own signature and the signatures of city employees, the submission of the same signed forms for multiple reimbursement requests, and the submission of requests for reimbursement more frequently than the retirement plan permits,” council members said in a statement.
Orem City policy limits retirees to two withdrawals from retirement accounts each year. Officials said there is no proof Brunst was aware of the restrictions and Brunst said he was not aware of the restrictions in an apology letter.
Officials with the Utah County Attorney’s Office said while the dates were clearly altered, “there is no direct evidence to show fraudulent intent” from Brunst and “there is a reasonable, innocent explanation that changes were made simply for convenience.”
They also said none of the mayor’s actions related to his position as mayor and there was not sufficient evidence to show any intent to commit a crime.