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State property misuse reported during rally

EAGLE MOUNTAIN — Residents reported a misuse of state property during a candidate support rally near the Ranches Parkway on Tuesday night, and officials are looking into it.

Robert Hill, a resident, said that during a honk-and-wave rally, he confronted mayoral candidate Brian Olsen, who works for the Utah Highway Patrol, because Olsen was using his patrol car to light up his signs along the freeway.

"It's against the ethics of law enforcement," Hill said he told Olsen.

He said Olsen told him, in front of witnesses, that, "If I make another statement, he will arrest me."

UHP trooper Jeff Nigbur said use of state property for personal political gain is not permitted but that troopers "have the ability to have personal use of their vehicles." An investigation into the situation is continuing.

"On duty or not, I'm a police officer and its easy to see why he'd take that approach," Nigbur said. The argument got heated between the two men.

Olsen reportedly agreed it was a misuse and later turned off his lights. Nigbur said Olsen reported to police that he was using the lights to illuminate the process of hooking up a generator in the area, not specifically to spotlight his own campaign signs. He could not be reached by the Deseret Morning News for comment Tuesday. Olsen won the election by 217 votes.