SALT LAKE CITY — Adam Gardiner was sworn in as the new Salt Lake County Recorder, opening in a new chapter in a scandal involving the health of his predecessor, Gary Ott.
“The storm that has embroiled the recorder’s office is now over,” Salt Lake County Councilman Richard Snelgrove said Friday. “A bright future for the recorder’s office lays ahead with the appointment of Adam Gardiner.”
Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott and his aides have been the subject of audits, investigations and scrutiny since questions began being raised about his health. Ott’s top deputies, Julie Dole and Karmen Sanone, have faced accusations they covered up his deteriorating mental state to keep their jobs.
Adam Gardiner takes the oath of office as Salt Lake County Recorder. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)
Ott resigned August 1 in a deal brokered between his family, the courts and the county. There was no way under Utah law to remove him from office. Ott’s family and Sanone, who has also been described as his girlfriend, are in the midst of a dispute over guardianship with a court hearing scheduled for Sept. 6.
Gardiner took the oath in a special Salt Lake County Council meeting scheduled the morning after county Republican delegates overwhelmingly picked the state lawmaker for the recorder’s seat. He defeated seven other challengers — including Dole, who has been acting recorder.
Acting Salt Lake County Recorder Julie Dole chats with Adam Gardiner after he is sworn in. (Image by Kevin Walenta, FOX 13 News)
She sat in the front row during Gardiner’s swearing in ceremony. Afterward, Dole walked up and shook Gardiner’s hand. She told FOX 13 Gardiner told her he would be letting her go.
“That’s what I just had confirmed, yes, so I’ll be leaving now,” she said.
Dole called the accusations against her a “smear campaign.”
“I’m still the same person with ethics and integrity and honesty and anybody who knows me and has worked with me knows that’s true. The people who came after me don’t know me,” she said.
The Salt Lake County District Attorney still has an ongoing investigation into Ott’s treatment.
Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott in an interview with FOX 13. (File image)
“I’ve done nothing wrong so I’m open,” Dole said in an interview with FOX 13. “I told them all along — I even met with the district attorney’s office this morning — any questions, anything they want to know I’m completely open and transparent so I have no concerns.”
Salt Lake County Councilwoman Aimee Winder-Newton said she supports the investigation.
“The investigations the district attorney’s office is pursuing I absolutely think should continue. As far as the council? We’re ready to move on and to make sure the business of Salt Lake County gets done,” she said.
Gardiner said he was ready to begin his new job, planning to speak to recorder’s office employees and appoint a new deputy. He said he wants to update the outdated technology in the office and streamline things.
“They’re free to investigate who they want to investigate but as far as me and the recorder’s office? We’re going to move past it,” he said.