Information gathered in a six-week review of an alleged evidence-tampering incident involving attorney Larry R. Keller doesn't warrant a formal investigation, Salt Lake County Attorney David E. Yocom announced Tuesday afternoon.
Keller said he was gratified that neither Yocom nor Attorney General R. Paul Van Dam has found any cause to even open an investigation, "let alone file charges," but added that the publicity surrounding the episode has harmed him, his family and his professional reputation. The full extent of the damage "may never be known," he said.The informal review attracted an unusual amount of attention and controversy when the Salt Lake Tribune reported on Oct. 5 that Keller was facing evidence-tampering charges, a story it based on Van Dam's request that Yocom examine an incident involving Keller's handling of a court document.
Van Dam responded angrily to the news account, calling it "grossly misleading, highly irresponsible, sensational, yellow journalism." No investigation was under way, Van Dam said, and none was requested by him.
In its lead local article Tuesday morning, the Tribune responded, "Any conclusion from the articles that Mr. Keller either had been formally charged or imminently faced formal charges is an `unfortunate misinterpretation,' said editor Will Fehr."
In a letter to Van Dam, Yocom wrote, "Based upon my review of the material submitted and my personal interviews, I have determined that no formal investigation of the incident will be commenced by the Salt Lake County Attorney's Office and recommend that your office likewise terminate further review of the incident."