In a statement at the Morgan County Council meeting on Tuesday, Chairman Sid Creager announced that Morgan County Council Administrator Garth Day had been placed on unpaid administrative leave while an investigation is completed into improprieties with financial accounts.
Chairman Creager said, “The Morgan County Council has learned that there may have been some improprieties with certain financial accounts operated by the county. These possible improprieties are being investigated by the Morgan County Sheriff’s department. The Morgan County Council fully supports this investigation and will cooperate to see that it is thoroughly and properly carried out. Because of the nature of the investigation, Council Administrator Garth Day has been placed on unpaid administrative leave pending the final results of the investigation.”
In the last council meeting Chairman Creager and Treasurer Bonnie Thomson sparred over the findings of an audit report and Chairman Creager said that Thomson had accused Day of embezzlement. Thomson denied this.
In the statement on Tuesday, Creager also stated, “On a personal note, I recently had a private discussion with our County Treasurer, Bonnie Thomson, but I would like to follow that up with a public apology. During our last council meeting, a heated exchange took place between Bonnie and myself that was based on information the council had received at that time. I apologize for how I comported at that meeting. I am confident that she and I have moved past our differences and I am hopeful that the community can move on as well.”
It is interesting that the investigation is continuing even after the county’s independent auditor reported that the accounts were all in order and there was proper documentation for all of the fund dispersements.
At issue is an account that was set up related to spending on a project with the State of Utah and Morgan County to build a bridge in the Stoddard area. Funds from the county were deposited in a separate account and Thomson did not feel that the explanations she received were sufficient as to the disposition of the funds.
There are also some questions relating to a vehicle that was sold by the county. The questions relate to whether Day or his family directly benefited from the sale of this vehicle. While the Sheriff would not comment on the investigation, he did confirm that the investigation included these two issues.
Over the past several months some members of the council have been outspoken in their support of Day. At this point no one in the county government will provide any additional comment on the details of the investigations or any potential wrong doing.
Chairman Creager said that the investigation would last as long as it needed to last and not a day longer. The Sheriff expressed hope that the investigation would be completed in the next two weeks, but said that he could not predict exactly when they would be completed. The Chairman and the Sheriff both also indicated that a press release will be issued as soon as the outcome of the investigation is known.