HARRISVILLE, Weber County — When police assisted troubled Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott's family with a court-ordered emergency pickup last week, Ott's office aide Karmen Sanone and self-described "longtime friend" accused them of only seeking guardianship of him to seize his finances.
"I don't even want to talk to them. They have been so — all they want is his money," Sanone told police, according to Pleasant View police body camera footage of the incident June 28.
"Luckily we retained an attorney this morning, so …" she adds. "We'll get him back. This is just such a mess. It's so heartbreaking."
The body camera footage details the exchange Ott's family and Sanone had with police in a Harrisville Wal-Mart parking lot the day a 3rd District Court judge signed a temporary order granting his family temporary legal guardianship of the county recorder amid concerns of his health.
According to a Harrisville police report of the incident, Kristine Williams, Ott's sister, had called police to assist with the emergency pickup of her brother, who she said had been missing for "several days."
Williams had also told police that she was concerned for Ott's safety while he was living with Sanone and that "she was an aggressive person and may not let Gary go," according to the report.
Ott's family has deferred any questions or requests for comment to their attorney, Mary Corporon, who is also Ott's ex-wife.
In a phone interview Friday, Corporon responded to Sanone's accusations:
"Mr. Ott's siblings are motivated by one thing and one thing only, and that is the health and welfare of their brother," Corporon said, adding that Ott's family "cannot try" the issue "in the newspaper."
"This is the subject of a confidential court proceeding and we will test these issues in the court proceeding," she said.
Many have expressed worries that Ott's health has deteriorated even though he continues to serve in his taxpayer-paid position, with numerous public documents, police reports and a recent 45-minute interview showing Ott has had difficulty talking coherently or answering simple questions.
According to the police report, he didn't appear to recognize his family the day they called police to help locate and pick him up.
County employees, one of Ott's sisters and others have accused Sanone and his chief deputy, Julie Dole, of "manipulating" or "taking advantage" of Ott to keep their jobs in the recorder's office. The two women have denied those accusations.
"You're going to have to go with them," Sanone tells Ott in the video. Ott initially stares at her and doesn't say anything.
Sanone continues: "I'll get you back, but you're going to have to go with them. I'll call your attorney right now. The paperwork's filed. I'm sorry, honey."
Sanone then gives Ott a hug, and Ott hugs back. Ott speaks to Sanone, but only snippets are audible or not understandable.
"Well," he says, "And now you can say … Is the thing is is if I knew I could.…"
While he continues to speak, Ott gives Sanone another hug.
At one point, Ott says: "I had absolutely no problem with being waiting here, and I do it, nobody's hurting me, main things like this and I don't plan on doing daddy things or things like that.…"
Sanone tells Ott: "You have to go with them. I'll get you back as soon as I can. We'll get a court order. We've already filed the paperwork."
Ott mutters something inaudible, turning away. Sanone then gives him another hug saying, "Oh no, you're not. I love you."
As Ott climbs into the vehicle, he thanks the police officers.
In a previous interview, Kathy Chamberlain, another of Ott's sisters, has told the Deseret News she and her siblings have become increasingly concerned about Ott's well-being, particularly over the last several months after Ott stopped answering phone calls.
Chamberlain said last month she's "devastated" by Ott's situation and how it's played out so publicly because of his elected position. She has said the family's top priority is to advocate for Ott's best interests. She has also expressed that the family is interested talking with county leader's about Ott's resignation.
"We are heartsick at what's happened to his reputation. He's a victim. He really is," she said in June.
Before Sanone came out of the Harrisville Wal-Mart to meet police, Ott's brother, Marty Ott, can be heard on the police footage telling an officer: "I don't know what in the world our friend Karmen is going to do."
"My concern is based on what I know to be true is that she's capable of violence," Marty Ott says.
He also asks police if Ott can be transported directly to a local hospital for the night before they drive back to southern Utah the next day.
The officer tells Ott's siblings that they can show court orders to hospital officials and "make sure (Sanone) is not on the list to be able to see him or get him out."
Ott's family stood a distance away as police also talked with Sanone.
When police asked her to explain to Ott he needed to go with his family, Sanone said he was "going to be upset."
"He hasn't even seen them for eight months," she said. "They don't come around. They just starting calling up asking how much he was worth and how much his house was worth and how to get ahold of his bank accounts. His brother came up and wanted me to hand over all of his titles of his vehicles and his house, and I said, 'I'm not going to do that.' That's all I care about. And having his ex-wife as his attorney?"
Sanone also thanked officers for giving Ott's family his medication but added, "I'm sure they won't give it to him" because of court proceedings.
Though Ott's family's case seeking guardianship is sealed as a private matter, court records detailing the case's activity show Sanone has filed an objection to Ott's family's legal pursuits.
However, she was rebuffed by the court, with a filing stating "Karmen Sanone is not included as an interested party in this matter and needs to file a motion to intervene."
That's likely because Sanone has no legal standing to be involved with a case regarding Ott's guardianship or financial conservatorship, according to Laura Milliken Gray, an attorney who specializes in elder law.
Sanone this week declined to comment to the Deseret News about the litigation.
A hearing concerning Ott's family's case is scheduled for July 14 in 3rd District Court.