SALT LAKE COUNTY – The pressure being applied to Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott to step down is increasing.
Recent reports by the Deseret News concerning Ott’s mental health issues due to age have convinced County Mayor Ben McAdams that now is the time to formally ask Ott to retire. McAdams says, “I hope that we can talk to him about what that looks like and that he can go out as someone who is a revered public servant who has given a lot to this community and we can honor him.”
However, Ott is an elected official outside of McAdams’ office. He says state law doesn’t give him any ability to remove Ott from his position. “We’ve put some pressure on him in the past. We don’t have a lot of options. But, I think it’s time to raise the expectations.”
There are some things McAdams is considering. He’s thinking about cutting Ott’s pay to convince him to step down. He also says a special legislative session should be considered to look at legislation that could give counties more power to remove an elected official if their mental capacity is in question.
However, Ott’s Chief Deputy Julie Dole says the office is running as smooth as ever. Dole says, “The [state] statute allows, and the way the office has been functioning, is that when the Recorder is not here, I, as the chief deputy, am in charge and I carry out all the functions, just as if I were the Recorder.”
Dole says any decision to step down has to come from Ott, himself, and he’s adamant he has more to contribute.
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