Council strips Brigham mayor of many powers

Dec 21 2012 - 3:01pm

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Dennis Fife, Brigham City Mayor
Dennis Fife, Brigham City Mayor

BRIGHAM CITY -- The mayor of this northern Utah town, who acknowledged having an extramarital affair, has been stripped of his authority to hire, fire, supervise and discipline city employees. The city  council in Brigham City voted Thursday night to strip the Dennis Fife, 67, of his personnel powers. 

Fife acknowledged this month that he had an affair with a woman he once counseled during his time as a bishop with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He said the relationship began after he was released from his bishop duties and he has asked for forgiveness from residents. 

The city of 18,000 people has a high concentration of Mormons. The church opened a new temple in the city in August, one of 14 temples in the state of Utah.

The council voted unanimously in favor of the ordinance, with Fife also voting for it. The ordinance transfers the personnel powers to mayor pro tem Tyler Vincent. Fife will be allowed to continue as mayor.

That doesn't sit well with some residents who voiced their opposition to him keeping the top job.

Suresh Kulkarni, chairman of the community hospital's board of directors, said that as long as Fife remains mayor, the city will be "a lightning rod for continued bad-mouthing of the city."


Fife's affair has caused distrust among residents, said Brigham City resident Sherry Phipps. Mike Busby said the mayor should be accountable for committing adultery.

"It was of his own free will and accord that he did what he did," Busby said.

No one stood up to speak on behalf of Fife at the meeting.

 

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