September 20, 2012
CEDAR HILLS – On September 7, 2012, Judge James R. Taylor with the Fourth Judicial District Courtdenied a request filed by Cedar Hills residents Paul Sorensen and Ken Severn to compel the Utah CountyAttorney to further investigate claims of misconduct against former mayor Eric Richardson and formercity manager Konrad Hildebrandt.
In January of this year Mr. Sorensen and Mr. Severn filed a 46-page complaint with the Utah CountyAttorney alleging Mr. Hildebrandt and Mr. Richardson were guilty of malfeasance, misconduct, and other“high crimes and misdemeanors” and requested the removal of both individuals from their positions withthe City. After reviewing the complaint, in February 2012, the Utah County Attorney stated that theallegations made did not support a criminal investigation and therefore refused to proceed. In August Mr.Severn and Mr. Sorensen filed a request with the Fourth Judicial District Court asking the Court torequire the County Attorney to further investigate the allegations they have made.
The Utah State Constitution divides powers of the government into the Legislative, the Executive, and theJudicial branches and prohibits one branch from exercising the powers belonging to another. The Courtrecognized that “constitutions in the United States have always been regarded as documents which limitgovernment powers to protect individual rights. Unlimited, unfettered authority to investigate is notconsistent with every person’s right to be protected from general searches or examinations not based uponreasonable suspicion or probable cause.” The Court also stated that the County Attorney is required toinvestigate claims of criminal misconduct and this investigation could “encompass anything from asimple review of matters presented to a detailed search implicating the use of expert review and all of thepolice powers available to the State.”
As the Utah County Attorney did properly investigate the allegations made by Mr. Severn and Mr.Sorensen, the Court denied the request of the accusers to issue a writ or order to review the investigationas the Utah Constitution prohibits any attempt by the courts to assume management of an investigation.“We are pleased with the decision made by the Court,” stated Mayor Gary Gygi. “It is baffling as to whyMr. Sorensen and Mr. Severn continue to pursue these baseless allegations as Mr. Hildebrandt and Mr.Richardson resigned their positions earlier this year and no longer serve the City in any capacity. Citystaff and officials are looking to the future and it is our hope that these residents will do the same.”______________________________________________________Media inquiries can be sent to Jenney Rees at firstname.lastname@example.org