FARMINGTON — A Davis County sheriff’s dispatcher and the Woods Cross Police Department’s former administrative assistant have a preliminary hearing scheduled Dec. 19 on felony charges arising from allegations of home warranty fraud.
A Utah Attorney General’s Office indictment from Aug. 22 alleged that Tanna Kae Dyer, 46, and Stephanie Neville Gonzales, 40, conspired in 2017 to open a home warranty account and then submit a claim for an air conditioner that was broken before the insurance was purchased.
Gonzales and Dyer “are associated through common career connections and through common associates,” the indictment said.
Dyer is a dispatcher for the county sheriff’s office in Farmington. Gonzales was employed by Woods Cross City until she resigned Sept. 28.
City Manager Gary Uresk said the city put Gonzales on paid administrative leave after the fraud charges were filed. Gonzales soon found other employment, Uresk said.
“The felony case had nothing to do with her work here,” Uresk said. “But because she was in the police department, we felt better putting her on administrative leave while we were reviewing what was going on.”
According to city records, Gonzales was hired in 2013 and made $40,000 annually at the time of her resignation.
“There is always an issue with a public entity and that the public has trust and confidence in you,” Uresk said.
Even though Gonzales’ work for the city had no connection to her criminal case, any appearance of impropriety was an issue with the city, Uresk said.
Police Chief Greg Butler resigned Sept. 5 in mutual agreement with city leaders, according to city records.
“Tanna was the girlfriend of Chief Butler and Stephanie worked with Chief Butler,” Uresk said.
Butler had nothing to do with the criminal case involving the two women, Uresk said.
“There is nothing that he did that was tied into that,” the city manager said.
He declined to discuss reasons for Butler’s departure. “We decided to go our separate ways,” Uresk said.
Reached by phone, Butler said, “We just felt it was time to part ways. I’m not going to discuss anything.”
In response to an inquiry about the fraud case, attorney general’s spokeswoman Cindy Reinhard said Monday, “We did an investigation and reported our findings to the city, and at the end of the investigation, Chief Butler resigned.”
Butler was investigated as part of the case, she said. Attorney general’s investigators found nothing warranting charges against him, according to Reinhard.
Butler maintains police officer certification with the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Division and there are no complaints against him, said Marissa Cote, spokeswoman for the Utah Department of Public Safety.
Dyer and Gonzales are charged with insurance fraud, a third-degree felony, and criminal conspiracy, a class A misdemeanor.
Dyer remains on duty, said Debra Alexander, Davis County human resources director.
Cote said POST, which certifies police officers, corrections deputies and emergency dispatchers to work in the state, has an open investigation involving Dyer.
According to the indictment against Dyer, a sheriff’s office internal investigator reported that during her conversations with other dispatchers, Dyer allegedly bragged that her Farmington home’s air conditioning unit had been broken for months and she was able to purchase a home warranty program against which she made a claim for a new unit.
The indictment said Gonzales created the home warranty account as part of the alleged scheme and gave Dyer the credentials.
Joshua S. Ostler, listed in court records as Dyer’s attorney, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. Efforts to reach Gonzales’s attorney, Lindsay Jarvis, also were unsuccessful.