EPHRAIM—Three Ephraim City police officers have submitted a letter of resignation from the department over allegations that, over the past decade, Ephraim City Police Chief Ron Rasmussen failed to file police reports in hundreds of cases, making it impossible for follow-up by other officers or for criminal prosecutions to proceed.
The three officers, Larry Golding, Jared Hansen and Darren Pead, submitted their letter to the Ephraim City Council Monday, June 26.
The resignations leave the city without any rank-and-file police officers. The six-member department now includes Chief Rasmussen, who is on administrative leave but expected to resume his post on Wednesday; Sgt. Len Gasser, the direct supervisor of the three resigning officers; and a part-time school resource officer who works in Ephraim Elementary and Ephraim Middle schools.
Rasmussen has been on paid administrative leave since June 9. However, after hearing a report from Utah County investigators at a closed city council, followed by a showing of nearly 70 citizens supporting Rasmussen, the Ephraim City Council, on Wednesday, June 21, agreed the chief would remain in his position.
The mayor and three of five city council members were present at the closed meeting. Present were Councilmen Richard Wheeler, John Scott and Alma Lund. Councilman Tyler Alder and Councilwoman Margie Anderson were not present.
“Chief Rasmussen remains on paid administrative leave for the next five days during which time he will draft a corrective action plan for the department that will address issues identified in the investigation in addition to items that were observed by city administration,” according to a press released issued by City Manager Brant Hanson.
“Upon completion of the plan, Ron Rasmussen will be reinstated as the chief of the Ephraim City Police Department with the full support of the mayor, council and city administration.”
For the three officers, that wasn’t good enough.
“We write today to resign, effective the moment Chief Rasmussen is reinstated—and to put the community that we have loved and served collectively for nearly four decades on notice that we have lost all confidence in our chief, and in the city officials who are responsible now for a cover-up of epic proportions,” the officers stated in their resignation letter.
In the letter, the officers contend that Rasmussen violated standard police practice by failing to “write or complete reports for hundreds of upon hundreds of calls for service” and that many of those reports involved crimes, including “serious felonies.”
Golding is a 20-year veteran of the department and Hansen has served in Ephraim for more than decade. Pead has been with the department for about 18 months, though he previously served with the Sanpete-Juab Major Crimes Taskforce.
In-depth coverage of the controversy from multiple perspectives will be published in the June 29 edition of the Sanpete Messenger.