SYRACUSE — Allegations of “inappropriate” conduct, some “criminal in nature,” against Syracuse city officials, and counter allegations made against some making those claims, has prompted an investigation by the Davis County Attorney’s Office.
Those named in the allegations, which a group of residents shared with the county attorney’s office, are Syracuse Mayor Jamie Nagle, City Manager Robert Rice, City Attorney Will Carlson and City Recorder Cassie Brown.
The Davis County Attorney’s Office confirmed it is conducting an investigation in Syracuse relating to some of its citizenry, city staff and elected leaders. But officials stopped short of sharing who is under investigation for what, or where the allegations stem from.
“Syracuse is ripe with allegations and counter-allegations. Multiple witnesses have been interviewed, with a number (of others) yet to be interviewed,” Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings told the Standard-Examiner.
“Part of what we are trying to sort out is who may be witnesses, who may be victims, and who may think they fit into one or the other of those two categories,” he said.
Rawlings refused to identify who may fit into the different categories.
“At the end of day, this all could be political dung,” he said.
Rice said he is aware of an investigation, but based on what he has heard, the allegations made against the group are “baseless generalities,” and Brown, Carlson and he have been pulled into what could well be a political fight based on their level of competency and professional working relationship with Nagle.
“I haven’t heard anything specific,” Rice said, referring to the claims as a political “witch hunt,” generated by people who may not have gotten their way with the city on a particular issue.
“We’re just trying to do the best job for the city,” Rice said.
Brown said she considers herself to be a neutral party in all processes of the city as its records manager, and she is interested in doing the best job for the residents of Syracuse.
Carlson said, “Any complaint should be taken seriously. But a complaint does not equal a crime.”
Syracuse City Councilman Brian Duncan, a witness in the investigation, said he has cooperated fully with the county attorney’s investigation into Nagle’s behavior, and whether her treatment of the city council is “inappropriate and criminal in nature.”
“The allegations deal with how (Nagle) has treated the city council out of the public eye,” Duncan said, declining to share specifics. “This isn’t an opportunity to grandstand and slam the mayor.”
But Nagle maintains her innocence.
“If there is something criminal, I will own up to it,” Nagle said. “But I am not going to apologize for who I am, or for turning the city around (financially).
“It is just about a fight,” Nagle said of the claims that stem from political differences.
“They (some members of the council and some of their supporters) are not going to be happy until they have my head on a platter,” Nagle said.
Both Duncan and Syracuse City Councilwoman Karianne Lisonbee, when contacted, indicated they were unaware of any counter-allegations being investigated by the county attorney.
“(The newspaper is) apparently privy to information I am not,” Lisonbee said in an email to the Standard-Examiner.
“I believe a person is innocent until proven guilty. I believe that it is the role of our judicial system to decide guilt or innocence under the law, rather than the media or individual citizens. For that reason, I believe it is inappropriate for me to comment on an ongoing investigation of the mayor by the county attorney’s office,” Lisonbee said. “I am confident that (Rawlings) will pursue any investigation he is conducting regarding Syracuse city with integrity.”