SALT LAKE CITY — No criminal charges will be filed in Salt Lake County against a Utah Highway Patrol trooper accused of violating department policies during DUI stops.
Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill said an investigation by Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman confirmed what his office had already believed, that trooper Lisa Steed did not break any laws.
Steed, the Utah Highway Patrol's 2009 Trooper of the Year, came under fire when it was revealed in 3rd District Court that she violated department policies when she issued a Breathalyzer test before conducting a field sobriety test during a 2010 traffic stop, and purposely left her microphone in her cruiser that would have recorded the encounter.
After that revelation was made, at least two of her DUI cases were thrown out after judges questioned her credibility as a witness.
Monday, Gill said although department policies and procedures were violated, her testimony in court did not constitute perjury.
"This (case) was more akin to whether she misstated or provided false information as these issues were going forward," Gill said.1 comment on this story
Once prosecutors learned of the policy violations, Gill said his office had an obligation to turn information over to defense attorneys and not simply "bury their heads in the sand." Her case was screened for possible charges of making false statements under oath in 3rd District Court.
"To prove somebody intentionally lied, that standard is fundamentally different than somebody who didn't follow process or protocol," he said.
In April, Steed was reassigned to a non-law enforcement position within the Department of Public Safety. In 2009, Steed made more than 400 DUI arrests, believed to be a state record, and was named Trooper of the Year.