Provo councilwoman calls for probe of colleague

Dec 8 2010 - 12:22pm

PROVO -- A Provo municipal councilwoman is calling for an investigation of a colleague's business dealings and allegations that he has used his elected position for personal gain.

The Daily Herald of Provo reports that Councilwoman Cynthia Dayton took the unusual step of moving to the audience on Tuesday as she called for a probe of claims of conflicts of interest against Councilman Steve Turley.

"I find it no longer possible to fully participate in legislative process when the majority of this council ... continues to allow Mr. Turley to operate in positions of power and influence," Dayton said.

Turley didn't respond during the meeting.

He later told the Salt Lake Tribune he thought Dayton was engaging in "political theater."

"There's an appropriate time, an appropriate place and an appropriate mechanism for responding to these pernicious allegations," Turley said. "But not during the public's time at a public meeting and on the public's dime."

A group of 23 Provo residents also submitted a letter calling for an investigation.

Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman is already investigating claims that Turley defrauded people in real estate dealings. Buhman is out of town and unavailable to comment to The Associated Press about the latest complaint.

Mayor John R. Curtis says a city ethics investigation could pose a conflict of interest.

Council Chairwoman Midge Johnson said that the council would not be taking internal action against Turley.

"These are difficult times for the council. The leadership has been working on what action we should take. We've been advised there is nothing for us to act upon," Johnson said.

The meeting came three days after accusations from Taylor Oldroyd, chief executive of the Utah County Association of Realtors, that a number of residents of being involved in an antibusiness conspiracy aimed at Turley. Oldroyd and other Turley supporters did not speak during Tuesday night's meeting.

 

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