BRIGHAM CITY -- Mayor Dennis Fife has confessed to an extramarital affair, but plans to continue serving as Brigham City's top elected official, explaining that "my conscience is clear and my commitment to serve is resolute."
Fife issued a statement Monday, seeking to end a swirl of rumors that has spread through the Box Elder County city. During the last seven months, Fife said, he's been going through a "repentance process" in which he has confessed his "indiscretions." And now, "I want to share that confession with the residents of Brigham City," he said.
The statement provides some particulars of his extramarital relationship and asks Brigham City residents for their forgiveness.
The relationship, according to the statement, began after he was released as an LDS bishop and continued a relationship with a woman he had been counseling during his church calling.
Fife informed city council members of his indiscretions during a closed meeting on Friday. Some of the five council members, he said, urged him to resign, "but I had support both ways."
He said those who recommended his resignation felt he would be "less effective" as mayor. "But I told them, 'You're the ones who make the decisions, and you'll make decisions based on what's right for the city,'" Fife said.
He added that his resignation as mayor "would be worse in trying to do a transition" to a new mayor. He said he plans to continue for the two years that remain in his term.
In his statement, Fife said the affair began following his release as a bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although he had passed off to the incoming bishop his responsibilities for those who he had been counseling, he said, "she continued to seek me out."
The "confidential relationship" that had begun during his term as a bishop continued.
"I am guilty of indiscretions that occurred during this continuation period," the statement reads.
Fife said he has made the affair known to his family and church leaders and continues to work through the forgiveness process. In the statement, he explains, "I have asked their forgiveness and understanding and I'm grateful it has been extended."