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Salt Lake County Republicans call for D.A.’s resignation over Gary Ott investigation

SALT LAKE COUNTY – Strong accusations are being made about the investigation into whether or not former County Recorder was abused by his caretakers.  Salt Lake County Republicans are demanding that District Attorney Sim Gill resign.

Before his death on October 17th, allegations were spreading that his Alzheimer’s disease was being hidden and that he was being taken advantage of by his former Chief Deputy, Julie Dole, and his girlfriend, Karmen Sanone.  Both women deny those accusations.

Salt Lake County GOP Chair, Jake Parkinson, says Gill has taken far too long to decide if charges should be filed.  He says, “District Attorney Sim Gill has had his investigation for over a year, and there has been no progress.  Sim Gill has failed Gary Ott, and has failed Salt Lake County residents.”

Parkinson says the party also did an investigation into the matter, and they were able to finish in a couple of months.  He feels that since Gill has the power to subpoena people, Gill should be closer to making a decision on pressing charges.  “A good prosecutor would have known the facts of Mr. Ott’s situation in a few weeks,” Parkinson says.

However, Dole is firing back at the Salt Lake County GOP.  She doubts the validity of the party’s investigation, saying they found “absolutely nothing” when they looked into her relationship with Ott.  “When I asked them for the evidence of what they went after me for, they gave me a file of press articles and reports.  They said they made all their decisions based on the press releases,” she says.

She wants Gill to not only keep his job, but, she wants him to open an investigation into Ott’s death.  She adds, “Personally, I would have loved to see the investigations conclude a long time ago to clear my name.”

Sim Gill says, no, he will not step down.  He instead has criticized people who were close to Ott, saying they were unwilling to help him until the very end and refused to put his needs above their own.  “Moral cruelty or emotional betrayal are not crimes, just like political opportunism isn’t a crime,” Gill said. “Maybe it should be.”

Gill’s office continues to investigate, to determine if Ott’s former staff or caretakers were involved in any criminal conduct related to his finances. Gill said the decision to file charges or not will be a result of the facts, not pressure from a political party.  “What do I have to gain by not filing charges if the evidence is there? There is nothing,” he says.

He accused the Salt Lake County GOP of politicizing Ott’s death.  “Mr. Parkinson is not the morality police. Mr. Parkinson is not the ethical PC police for me to follow,” Gill said.

Gill also said recent court hearings in the Ott guardianship case have provided additional information for investigators, including sworn testimony from doctors and Karmen Sanone.

(Contributing, Dave Cawley.  Photo Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)