Commissioners appoint Kevin
Daniels as interim attorney
By Robert Stevens
Jan. 25, 2018
MANTI—What was going to be a difficult decision for the Sanpete County Commission was rendered simple on Tuesday when one of two applicants for interim Sanpete County attorney withdrew.
The action left Kevin Daniels, current deputy county attorney, as the only candidate, and by default, the appointee.
The position became available after the elected Sanpete County attorney, Brody Keisel, was nominated as a juvenile court judge for 6th District Court.
The events leading to Daniels’ appointment took place in a special Sanpete County Commission meeting called to interview both applicants: Daniels and David Angerhofer, a private practitioner who currently has a contract to serve as the county’s public defender.
The interviews began with Daniels, who has been deputy county attorney under Brody Keisel for approximately five years. After Daniels’ interview, Angerhofer sat down in from of the commissioners.
Before asking any questions, Commission Chairman Scott Bartholomew said to Angerhofer, “This is going to be a difficult decision.”
To that, Angerhofer replied that the decision would actually be a simple one, because, after some introspection the night before, he had decided to withdraw.
“I did a lot of thinking about the good of the community, and I think it would be best,” Angerhofer said.
He added, “I really respect Kevin, and I look forward to working with him more in the future.”
During the interview with Daniels, commissioners asked a wide range of questions. Daniels mentioned that a panel of law enforcement leaders in the county, including the county sheriff and all municipal chiefs of police, had endorsed him.
The commissioners asked Daniels how he would make the transition into the new position. Daniels told them that Keisel had been his mentor and his intention was to keep a lot of things running the way they had under Keisel.
He said it was a priority to keep an open-door policy with both the county department heads and the public, as Keisel had done.
“Brody and I are a lot like two of the same cars with a few different bumper stickers,” Daniels said. “He was my mentor, and I work in a very similar way.”
Daniels said if he got the position, he would hire a deputy attorney and arrange the caseloads similarly to the way he and Keisel had shared cases.
“Brody did not micromanage me…period,” Daniels said. “He just wanted my work done. I loved the way it worked, and I want to keep that going.”
The commissioners asked Daniels if he thought he could use more than one deputy county attorney. To that, Daniels answered that of course he could put another attorney to work, but he knew money for such a position for it wasn’t there, and he intended to be fiscally conservative.
“I am a team player,” Daniels said. “If I need to find a way to be more efficient with what I have, I don’t have a problem with that. The county will always be my top priority.”
During his interview, Daniels made it clear he was serious about his choice to work in the Sanpete County Attorney’s Office. He told commissioners that at the time he joined the county, he also had an offer from Goldman Sachs in Salt Lake City.
“The difference in pay was substantial,” he said, but he came to Sanpete County not only because he had roots here, but because he knew he would have immediate exposure to high-level prosecutions, instead of having his hand held all day.
“Prosecution is my passion,” he said. “It’s what I love to do.”
He added that in his first week on the job, Keisel assigned him a second-degree felony drug distribution case defended by local attorney Andrew Barry and left on vacation.
“The immediate exposure to cases like these was what I wanted,” Daniels said. “Like then, with this new position, Brody expects me to hit the ground running.”
Daniels, who lives in Ephraim, received a bachelors’ degree in political science from the University of Utah and a juris doctor from the University Of Wyoming College Of Law in Laramie Wyo.
He has been a law clerk for the 6th District District Court, a law clerk for West Valley City, and a strategy and management specialist, as well as a state and local planning project manager, at the Utah Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget.
Angerhofer, who lives in Mt. Pleasant, received his juris doctor degree from the University of Utah College of Law. He also earned a master’s degree in business administration from Brigham Young University. He has two bachelor’s degrees, one in Russian language studies from the University of Utah and one in economics from Brigham Young University.
He has been a public defender in Sanpete, Tooele, Salt Lake and Utah counties; has worked as a Utah State Prison contract attorney; and has been a Utah State Tax Commission hearing officer.
Selection of the interim county attorney was left to the county commission because fewer than three qualified attorneys applied for the job. If more than three had expressed interest, the issue would have gone to the Sanpete County Republican Central Committee, since Keisel, who had been elected to the position, was a Republican.
The central committee would have narrowed the field to two applicants, and the county commission would have chosen from there.