Sources tell UtahPolicy.com that Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill is currently investigating a claim of elder abuse involving Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott.
The investigation follows a complaint filed earlier this year that Ott was being taken advantage of by his chief deputy Julie Dole and his girlfriend and office aide Karmen Sanone.
It’s widely speculated that Ott is suffering from diminished capacity after he was found near Tooele in early February wandering away from his car after it had run out of gas. He was also speaking incoherently according to police officers who found him wearing clothes that were not appropriate for the chilly weather.
Jeremy Roberts, who filed the initial complaint, said he did it because he’s worried about Ott’s well-being.
“If Julie Dole and (Karmen) Sanone had come forward and said Gary was dealing with some health issues, nobody would have blinked an eye,” said Roberts. “The way that they did this makes no sense whatsoever. What I care about is whether Gary is getting the treatment and care he needs. I’m genuinely worried about his health. Is someone taking care of him?”
Roberts says he has also filed a report with the Salt Lake City Police about Ott’s situation.
An audit of Ott’s office found that nearly all of Ott’s duties were “almost exclusively delegated to the chief deputy recorder (Dole)…with very little oversight or involvement by the elected county recorder.”
UtahPolicy.com has been told the investigation originally was started with Attorney General Sean Reyes’ office but was transferred to Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill after Gill pressed hard to take over the case.
Reyes’ office would not confirm the investigation but did acknowledge the initial complaint from Roberts.
Gill would not comment specifically on any ongoing investigations but did tell UtahPolicy.com that his office is aware of the complaint from Roberts.
“We’ve been looking into (Gary) Ott’s situation for quite some time,” said Gill. “Right now we’re gathering information and doing our due diligence.”
Sources with knowledge of the investigation tell UtahPolicy.com there have been many interviews of office-holders and others who know or have connections to Ott.
Right now, there’s no mechanism for removing an independently elected officer who may be suffering from diminished capacity or any other condition that might hinder their ability to carry out their duties.