LOCAL NEWS

Utah County Commission delays ‘elected officer’ investigation following sheriff, county attorney dispute

Jun 8, 2022, 10:04 PM | Updated: 10:56 pm

UTAH COUNTY, Utah — The launch of an investigation into conduct of elected officials in Utah County has been placed on hold, after a snafu in commission agenda language led to the commission striking down a motion.

The potential investigation comes a week after dueling press conferences  by Utah County Attorney David Leavitt and Sheriff Mike Smith over what the sheriff’s office has described as a ritualistic child sex abuse case.

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office initially put out a press release about the case, describing it in general terms and encouraging victims to come forward.

Leavitt then publicly stated he is named in the allegations and accused the sheriff’s office of “using its position for political gain.”

He called for a review of the case, and for Sheriff Mike Smith to resign.

Sheriff Smith rebutted the claim, saying it was not politically motivated and that he believed Leavitt was “using his authority and his pulpit to bully, distract and mischaracterize the facts of an ongoing investigation.”

At Wednesday’s Utah County Commission meeting, an agenda item called for approving and authorizing “the commencement of an investigation related to the potential unauthorized release of documents and other related matters, pursuant to Utah Code…”

Utah County commissioners entered a closed session to discuss the agenda item. When they came back, Sheriff Smith approached the podium.

He said the sheriff’s office has had no problem with transparency.

“I find it interesting as well as disturbing that the commission has placed this on a public agenda item,” Sheriff Smith said. “I find it very inappropriate. It is very out of order.”

He called the commission’s call for an investigation “unprofessional.”

“This continues Leavitt’s attempts to intimidate victims, and witnesses, and people working this case,” he said. “And by placing this on the agenda, the commission has participated in that continual intimidation on this case. This is a criminal investigation.”

At another point, Utah County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Jason Randall also got up and spoke, saying he had “extreme concerns” about the wording of the motion, because it mentioned “documents.”

Commissioners clarified that the criminal investigation is not part of the motion.

Commissioner Amelia Powers Gardner said at another point that they wanted to strike the line about documents.

“The agenda item has been modified. I’ll just reiterate, to say, ‘Approve and authorize the commencement of investigation related to the conduct of elected officers of Utah county,’” she explained.

Commissioner Tom Sakievich said they would keep their investigation away from the current investigation.

“This will simply be a scope of what happened last week– and why,” he said.

But because of the discrepancy between what was written on the agenda and what commissioners intended with the motion, they decided to strike the motion entirely with the plan of reintroducing it later, worded in a way that keeps it focused on “conduct of elected officers.”

“I think process matters,” Powers Gardner said. “Following proper process and proper procedure is incredibly important.”

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday they’ve received more than 100 tips since their initial press release on the sex abuse case.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

...
Lauren Steinbrecher

Utah family takes in Ukrainian family fleeing war after meeting on social media

A family from southcentral Ukraine is now calling Utah their home after meeting a Utah couple online who were total strangers.
1 day ago
...
Carole Mikita

Thousands of Virginia Latter-day Saints celebrate the rededicated Washington D.C. Temple

On Sunday morning, thousands of Latter-day Saints filled the D.C temple grounds to be part of the rededication with President Russell M. Nelson.
1 day ago
...
Debbie Worthen

New KSL Podcast: Celebrating the Spectrum with Debbie Worthen

The KSL podcast lineup is getting a new show. "Celebrating the Spectrum" is a KSL original podcast that will drop weekly episodes every Monday morning featuring KSL TV's Debbie Worthen.
1 day ago
KSL TV...
Michael Houck

Three men facing disorderly conduct charges after staging a kidnapping for a YouTube video

Three men were charged with disorderly conduct after staging a kidnapping for their YouTube channel Saturday afternoon. 
1 day ago
FILE PHOTO...
Michael Houck

WVC Police search for drive-by shooting suspect, one victim in hospital

Police are searching for a shooting suspect after hospitalizing a man Sunday afternoon.
1 day ago
...
Michael Houck

Police investigate why man died after he was in police custody

Salt Lake City police are investigating the death of a robbery suspect after being placed in custody and sent to the hospital on Sunday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Utah County Commission delays ‘elected officer’ investigation following sheriff, county attorney dispute