Declaration of No Confidence in Utah County Attorney David Leavitt

An Open Letter to Residents of Utah County,

We, the undersigned, are former criminal prosecutors in your County Attorney’s Office. Collectively we served you for a total of 111 years. And though we come from different backgrounds, and hold to differing political philosophies, we’re united in two distinct ways: First, we all prematurely left your County Attorney’s Office as a result of the prosecution policies and procedures David Leavitt established since his election in 2018; and, Second, we are united in presenting this public declaration of no confidence in David Leavitt’s capability and competence to perform his constitutional and statutory duties as the lead criminal prosecutor in Utah County. We declare that Mr. Leavitt has vacated his responsibilities to provide you safety and protection in your person and property by failing to enforce criminal laws against offenders and by prioritizing the protection of criminals from the lawful consequences of their misconduct. His destructive actions as the county’s lead prosecutor include, but are not limited to:

The disbanding of the office’s Special Victim Unit (which was staffed by experienced attorneys specifically trained to prosecute adult and child sexual offenses), leaving the prosecution of many of these cases to less-experienced attorneys who lack trial experience in these types of serious offenses;

The implementation of screening policies and procedures which have resulted in a backlog of well over 1000 criminal cases waiting to be screened for charges, thus rendering victims of criminal offenses disillusioned, vulnerable, and without a sense of justice for many months, or perhaps even for a full year, and leaving potentially dangerous individuals out on your streets without any accountability; and,

The abuse of his discretion by willfully ignoring statutory sentencing enhancements, and diminishing the importance of criminal histories in charging decisions, so those who have prior felony convictions, those on felony probation, and those on parole from the state prison, can be referred to the Utah County Justice Court for misdemeanor prosecution. (Court statistics show that in 2021, Mr. Leavitt’s office filed 45% fewer cases in the District Court, while increasing the number of cases filed in the Utah County Justice Court by 79%, from the average number of cases filed in each in years 2017-19.)

David Leavitt’s policies have also resulted in the alienation of your law enforcement officers in the county. Due to mistrust in him, your County Attorney’s Office was removed as the primary investigating agency from the county’s officer-involved critical incident protocol. And lastly, according to Utah County budgets, David Leavitt has increased the office’s budget by nearly $5.5 million per year and 15 full-time attorneys, yet he revels in the fact that the office is currently prosecuting about one-half (50%) of the annual number of criminal cases in the district court that it did in 2018 (as verified by Utah Court statistics).

Based upon the foregoing we, speaking as your former prosecutors and not as representatives of any current employers, do not have any confidence that David Leavitt will effectively fulfill his duties as lead criminal prosecutor in Utah County, and we unitedly encourage all residents not to vote to re-elect David Leavitt for a second term in 2022.

Sherry Ragan
34 years of service

Mariane O’Bryant
29 years of service

Curtis Larson
27 years of service

Lance Bastian
8 years of service

Kelsy Young
7 years of service

Lauren Hunt
6 years of service