Kerry Gibson police probe done, Davis County Attorney's Office handling review

Thursday , March 01, 2018 - 1:25 PM

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include comments from Kerry Gibson’s attorney, Peter Stirba.

OGDEN — The Ogden Police Department investigation into Weber County Commissioner Kerry Gibson is complete and the Davis County Attorney’s Office is reviewing it to determine what additional action, if any, is merited.

Troy Rawlings, the Davis County attorney, said Thursday that Weber County Attorney Chris Allred asked Davis County officials to review the inquiry and they agreed to take on the matter. 

“We’re going to do it as quickly as we can, but I’m not going to put any kind of timeline on it,” Rawlings said.

Gibson’s lawyer, Peter Stirba of Salt Lake City, said the turn of events — screening of the case by prosecutors following completion of the police inquiry — was to be expected. “It’s totally routine... It’s a process and you got to go through the process.” he said.

Ogden police officials last December confirmed they were investigating Gibson, but they haven’t provided any details about the nature of the inquiry. Capt. Danielle Croyle wouldn’t provide additional information when contacted Thursday, and Rawlings, likewise, wouldn’t offer any details about the case, saying it would be “unfair of us to talk about that at this point.”

RELATED:  Weber County Commissioner Kerry Gibson facing Ogden police investigation

Allred said he gave the police investigation a quick review without delving into the details. He’s intentionally tried to stay out of the matter. 

“I glanced at the case simply to see if it was completely ready to go,” he said.

‘YOU’RE TOO CLOSE’

Allred asked Rawlings’ office to review the Ogden Police Department’s work given the relationship the Weber County Attorney’s Office has with county government offices here, including the Weber County Commission

“Our ongoing working relationship is so close, I think a person looking at that from the outside could say, ‘You’re too close to that situation,’” Allred said.

Gibson and his backers have said they think his involvement as commissioner in a flood mitigation project in western Weber County earlier this decade is at the root of the case. But all along they’ve rebuffed any suggestion of wrongdoing.

RELATED: Gibson backers, officials say river project handled properly as probe continues

RELATED: As Gibson police probe continues, Utah DNR head remains supportive

Rawlings said now his office will review the matter, and the speed of Davis County officials’ efforts depend in part on what they find. If the police investigation is complete and doesn’t have any seeming gaps, the review could be fairly quick. Alternatively, if they need additional documents or think additional lines of inquiry need to be pursued, it could take longer.

Ultimately, Rawlings’ office will determine if any charges are or aren’t merited, and Allred said he’d take a hands-off approach.

Stirba expects “something soon” from Davis County officials, he said, given the time it’s taken for Ogden police to complete their investigation. 

Allred said he was contacted by Ogden officials on Feb. 23 and told the police inquiry into Gibson was done. He picked up a hard copy of the investigation, asked Rawlings’ office last Monday to handle the review and, when Davis County officials said yes, provided them with a copy of the investigation report. Allred has also informed Gibson’s lawyer, Stirba, on developments.

Though police and investigators are saying little, Gibson and his backers have been outspoken in his defense, suggesting political foes are maneuvering against him. Weber County officials asked Ogden police to conduct the inquiry, but haven’t said why.

News of the police investigation emerged soon after Gibson announced plans on Dec. 12 to step down as commissioner to take a top slot in the Utah Department of Natural Resources as a deputy director. The western Weber County dairy farmer and former state representative now finishing his second term as county commissioner put those plans on hold.

RELATED: Weber County Commissioner Kerry Gibson to step down to take DNR post

Gibson’s county commission seat is up for grabs in elections this year.

Contact reporter Tim Vandenack at tvandenack@standard.net, follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/timvandenackreporter.

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