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DID PROVOAN FILE PETITIONS IN GOOD FAITH?

SHARE DID PROVOAN FILE PETITIONS IN GOOD FAITH?

When Utah County Attorney Kay Bryson cleared four Provo officials of wrongdoing last month, he stopped short of calling removal-from-office petitions filed in 4th District Court by resident Jack Adkins and former City Councilman Jim Daley frivolous.

But in a court motion filed recently, Bryson says he believes the petition filed by Adkins to remove Mayor George Stewart from office was not filed in good faith. He also calls Adkins' request for a court hearing to review the findings of Bryson's two-month investigation a continuation of those bad-faith efforts.State law says county attorneys shall investigate accusations made in removal petitions and determine whether there is merit to proceed with prosecution. County investigator Doug Witney spent two months interviewing dozens of witnesses to determine the validity of Adkins and Daley's accusations.

Most of the accusations involved incidents surrounding the mayor receiving and listening to surreptitious tape recordings made by Councilwoman Shari Holweg.

Bryson said the investigation revealed there are no grounds for prosecution. Some accusations inconsistent with the state and federal laws cited, and some are unfounded.

In his court affidavit, Bryson said Adkins told Witney that the petition was motivated by his unhappiness with the mayor's plans to build a baseball stadium at North Park. He also told Witney that he had no personal knowledge of the accusations contained in his petition. Most of the information used in his petition came from statements made at city meetings or from newspaper articles.

"It seems quite obvious that Mr. Adkins was motivated to file his petition by his desire to impede Mayor Stewart's plans to locate a baseball field in the North Park area of Provo City and/or by a desire to assist Michael Thornton in his difficulties with Provo City government," Bryson said.

Judge Donald J. Eyre set a hearing for Oct. 22. However, it is unclear whether the hearing will be an evidentiary hearing on Adkins' accusations or a hearing to determine whether there should be an evidentiary hearing and whether Adkins should pay the county's attorneys fees.