SYRACUSE -- If the Syracuse City Council doesn't remove Councilman Matt Kimmel as its representative on the North Davis Sewer District, district board members may.
Kimmel is under review by the Davis County Attorney's Office for claims he may have profited from a property transaction in which he received inside information while representing the city on the North Davis Sewer District Board.
Kimmel, who could not be reached for comment, earlier told the Standard-Examiner that he was in line to receive a "finder's fee" on a district land transaction, but indicated he would not accept the fee if it violated any legal or ethical law.
"Ethically or legally, I want to walk the line. I can understand how that would look bad to anybody," Kimmel said earlier.
Kimmel was surprised to find that the land transaction, in which he recused himself from voting based on the possibility of receiving a finder's fee, had made its way to the county attorney's office.
Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings has been asked by sewer district legal counsel Felshaw King to review the incident to determine if there was any ethical or criminal wrongdoing.
That review continues, county officials say.
Meanwhile, sewer district board members are preparing to take action of their own.
North Davis Sewer District Chairman Ivan Anderson told the board May 12 to be prepared to go into a closed session at its regularly scheduled June 9 meeting to discuss the Kimmel incident as it relates to district ordinance 2-2-2, which deals with the expulsion of a board member, according to district draft minutes.
"The closed meeting will be held by the board pending what action the Syracuse City Council takes," Anderson said, referring to a Syracuse City Council meeting scheduled for May 24.
"I anticipate there being an item on the (city council) agenda addressing this issue," said Syracuse Mayor Jamie Nagle. She declined any further comment.
Board members were made aware that Kimmel was to receive a finder's fee on a district land transaction after he recused himself from a public vote on the $730,000 land purchase. The commission on that transaction totaled more than $21,000, district officials say.
Kimmel made it known to board members he was to receive a finder's fee on the deal after being present in prior meetings in which the land purchase was discussed without recusing himself, Anderson said. That drew the concerns of board members, he said.
As a member of the board, Kimmel receives from the sewer district a base pay of $2,400 a year, and an additional $200 for each monthly meeting he attends.
Kimmel did not attend the May 12 district board meeting.
Anderson said cities belonging to the special service sewer district, which serves the area from Roy to Kaysville, agree as member cities to comply with the district's ordinances.
"Syracuse has to comply," he said. "All the cities have signed up to that ordinance."
Should the board remove Kimmel as a representative, Anderson said, it would be the first time the district has removed a board member since being established in 1954.
"We're not concerned about the legality of the issue. Legally, it is up to the county attorney what happens," Anderson said.
As board chairman, Anderson said his concern is the ethics surrounding the incident.
"We have lost confidence in (Kimmel), at the very least," he said. "The whole board had concerns about this."