Candidates for sheriff begin to spar
With his political opponent alleging nepotism, Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds, a Republican, is restructuring his administration.
The move, however, was in the works before Coalville resident Brody Taylor, an independent write-in candidate running against Edmunds, accused the sheriff of fostering nepotism within the department, Edmunds claimed.
A former jailer at the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Taylor insisted that allowing Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Dave Booth to oversee Booth’s wife, Kati, a supervisor in the jail, has lowered deputy morale.
Under Edmunds’ restructured administration, Booth becomes a captain who would no longer oversee corrections, but supervise dispatchers, secretaries, internal affairs and budgetary matters, Edmunds said, adding that the Summit County Commission still must approve the change.
"I wanted a more linear command structure," Edmunds said. "It’s been in the works for six months."
But Taylor insists the realignment of Edmunds’ administration was in response to criticism he raised in the campaign.
"It hasn’t been in the works for a long time," the challenger said.
Taylor was employed as a Sheriff’s Office deputy for nearly 10 years before he claimed disagreements with Booth and Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Mike Dorman resulted in him being forced to resign in June.
"I lost my career because of what happened to me with the administration that Sheriff Edmunds runs," said Taylor.
But this week Taylor’s campaign manager, his brother, Jason Taylor, explained several incidents when the candidate was disciplined prior to his resignation.
One involved an arm-wrestling competition Taylor allegedly helped arrange among inmates while working at the Summit County Jail, Jason Taylor said, adding that, following the incident, Taylor received a demotion in rank partly because an inmate was seriously injured.
In a separate case, Taylor, while on a lunch break in uniform, allegedly made disparaging remarks to a woman working at a fast-food restaurant at Kimball Junction, the brother said, adding, "I don’t know what the comment was."
Meanwhile, the candidate was reprimanded as a deputy after a neighbor complained to his superiors when Taylor dumped dirt onto someone’s property near his home in North Summit, the candidate’s campaign manager said.
"I can’t comment on any of it," said Edmunds, who wouldn’t respond to questions about personnel matters.
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Echo State Park will close its day-use and launch ramp area next week.