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McAdams: "Time For Gary Ott To Resign"

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams is calling for County Recorder Gary Ott to resign his post following reports of his declining health.

On Wednesday, Mayor McAdams formally asked for the resignation of Recorder Gary Ott.

“There are clear questions as to his ability and capacity to perform the duties of his office,” McAdams says. “If somebody, at the very least, is not coming into the office and not working for the taxpayers of Salt Lake County, that raises concern.”

Ott is an elected official, and McAdams says as it stands, there’s no way to remove him from office unless there’s proof he committed a crime or he resigns himself.

“There’s a gap in state law,” the mayor says. “And that gap needs to be fixed.”

Earlier this year,legislators considered a bill that would allow removal of mentally incapacitated elected officials, but it didn’t pass. Its sponsor, Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, has said she’ll continue to push the issue. 

Ott’s chief deputy Julie Dole says the recorder is rarely in the office. Dole says she runs day-to-day tasks and insists the office is running smoothly.

“Gary has always been more of a ‘hands off’ leadership style and a delegation style, so he’s allowed me to run the office since he appointed me,” Dole says.

According to public records, Ott earns over $180,000 a year including benefits.

Dole says she is concerned about Ott’s health but besides keeping the recorder’s office up and running, there’s nothing she can do.

“When I ask how he’s doing, he says he’s doing fine,” she says, adding that Ott “doesn’t talk to me about his personal health or wellbeing, so there’s nowhere I can go from there.”

Ott has been in office since 2001. His current term runs through 2020. 

Nicole Nixon holds a Communication degree from the University of Utah. She has worked on and off in the KUER Newsroom since 2013, when she first joined KUER as an intern. Nicole is a Utah native. Besides public radio, she is also passionate about beautiful landscapes and breakfast burritos.
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