On the Site:


Head of Utah National Guard, on paid leave, denies having improper relationship  

Aug 18, 2023, 7:59 PM | Updated: 8:49 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Despite the U.S. Army Inspector General Agency concluding an investigation into the head of the Utah National Guard and finding the allegations substantiated, Maj. Gen. Michael Turley said in a statement to KSL Friday afternoon, “I do deny any allegations of an improper relationship.”

Turley also said he had not been provided any report by the government to review and he would be making decisions about future steps after he is able to review the report. His comments to KSL come a day after Gov. Spencer Cox placed Turley on paid-administrative leave.

Governor Cox said in a statement Thursday that he also had not received a copy of the Inspector General’s report but placing Turley on leave was based on information conveyed to the Governor by the department.

Strictly Prohibited

The details of the specific allegations made or the nature of any alleged improper relationship involving Turley have not been made public. However several former military leaders told KSL adultery and fraternization are strictly prohibited and considered criminal acts under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.

“This is serious misconduct,” said Don Christensen, a retired Air Force colonel who spent decades as the chief prosecutor for the United States Air Force. “It’s misconduct that erodes good order and discipline.”

Maj. Gen. Jeff Burton lead the Utah National Guard for the eight years before Turley took command. He told KSL the military lives by standards that are arguably stricter than those in the civilian sector.

“We’re held to a higher standard and especially when you’re in a position of authority, you cannot and should not interact in that way with a subordinate, who may or may not feel pressured into that kind of situation.”

Next Steps

Gov. Cox called on Brig. Gen. Daniel Boyack to step in as Interim Adjutant General and immediately assume command of the Utah National Guard after placing Turley on leave. In an email sent to members of the guard, officials said Boyack would serve until a permanent selection is made. The email went on to say, “We expect a permanent appointment within the next month.”

An investigation by the U.S. Army Inspector General Agency and its finding of substantiated allegations is not the end of the process involving Turley. Christensen said Turley will have an opportunity to rebut anything in the report before everything is taken into consideration and a potential punishment is issued.

“He’s going to have due process rights through that as the decision is made what to do with him, how to address this. He’ll have due process rights. It could drag out a while,” he said. “It could take quite a while before he’s actually forced to retire, which I’m guessing is what the ultimate result of this will be.”

Christensen noted other possible punishments include a reprimand, Article 15 punishment, or even a court-martial, a proceeding for members of the military that can ultimately result in reduced rank or a financial penalty.

“Based on my experience, what I would expect is that he’d receive some type of reprimand and then be retired,” Christensen said.

The Findings

Turley himself, Gov. Cox, and other National Guard leadership have all said they have not seen the report with the DAIG’s findings.

“I believe the governor needs access to this report because he’s the one who appoints that individual and he’s the one who has to adjudicate and decide what he’s going to do moving forward,” said Burton.

He indicated due to privacy restrictions regarding DAIG investigations, it’s likely that Gov. Cox may need to request a copy of the report through a government Freedom of Information Act request. Something Burton says shouldn’t be the case.

“The system needs maybe another look to allow him to have that sooner so that he can do what he needs to do.”

KSL submitted a FOIA request for the report on Thursday. In a response to our request Friday, the Army IG Records Release Office said “The approximate date of completion on your request is August 17, 2024, or it could take longer.”

Lingering Questions

Maj. Gen. Turley was on hand with Governor Cox to greet President Biden as he arrived in Utah last week. In February he attended President Biden’s State of the Union address as a guest of Sen. Mitt Romney. When asked about when Gov. Cox and Sen. Romney first learned of the allegations or investigation into Turley, neither Cox nor Romney’s spokespeople would answer that question. Romney’s office saying instead, “The Senator was not aware at the time of the SOTU.”

KSL has had no response to its inquiry from Cox’s office.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

(ATF Denver Field Division)...

Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Reward offered in Cedar City stolen firearms investigation

A reward is being offered in connection with a stolen firearms investigation in southern Utah.

1 hour ago

Kevin Franke and his attorneys walk into a conference room following a juvenile court hearing on Se...

Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Husband of YouTube vlogger Ruby Franke files for divorce

The husband of the popular "8 Passengers" YouTube channel vlogger has filed for divorce nearly three months after his wife Ruby Franke was charged with abusing their children.

4 hours ago

In the moment they feel like small purchases, right? An ornament here. A stocking stuffer there. A ...

Matt Gephardt

How you can avoid holiday debt despite the pressure to spend

In the moment they feel like small purchases, right? An ornament here. A stocking stuffer there. A last-minute office gift. But all this can quickly add up to a financial holiday hangover. And perhaps it’s one you’re still feeling from the last holiday season.

12 hours ago

The inversion as seen from Salt Lake City on Nov. 29, 2023. (Jack Grimm, KSL TV)...

Debbie Worthen and Mary Culbertson, KSL TV

Utah leaders face uphill battle on clean air before 2034 Olympic Games

Part of Utah's agreement with IOC requires clean air for the Olympic Games in 2034 if Salt Lake is to host. Leaders have ambitious plans for the next decade in attempt to make it happen.

12 hours ago

A picture of Powder, the official Olympic mascot in 2002, who was played by Heather Mickey, picture...

Mary Culbertson and Andrew Adams, KSL TV

2002 Olympic mascot reflects on her time as Powder after big announcement

An official Olympic mascot looks back on her time during the Games in 2002, and talks about what excites her for 2034.

13 hours ago

American Preparatory Academy on Nov. 29 after it was evacuated for carbon monoxide fumes found in t...

Mary Culbertson and Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL TV

Potentially 45 preschoolers and 10 adults exposed to carbon monoxide at American Prep Academy

Five toddlers and five adults were taken to the hospital after being exposed to carbon monoxide at American Preparatory Academy.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Head of Utah National Guard, on paid leave, denies having improper relationship