Ephraim chief on leave while outside agency probes Police Department
EPHRAIM—Ephraim City has called in the Utah County Sheriff’s Office to investigate allegations of administrative wrongdoing in the police department and has placed Chief Ron Rasmussen on administrative leave with pay, according to City Manager Brant Hanson.
Hanson declined to discuss the specifics of the allegations but promised to explain further when the Utah County Sheriff’s Office investigation is complete by about June 23. Depending on the Utah County findings, there is a possibility of a criminal investigation, he said.
“We’re taking this very seriously,” he said. “We have every faith this will be an opportunity to make changes to improve the department.”
He added that the department is understaffed, particularly when Snow College is in full operation, “which could relate to some of the issues we’re facing.” The city has put funds in the proposed 2017-18 budget for an additional officer.
Hanson said Rasmussen was placed on leave on Friday, June 9. Hanson emphasized that at this point, placing the chief on leave does not imply that he has done anything wrong.
The city manager said he had approached Sanpete County Sheriff Brian Nielson about having the Sheriff’s Office conduct the investigation. But to make sure the inquiry was impartial, Nielson had recommended reaching beyond the county borders.