Former councilwoman to run for West Valley City mayor

Published: Tuesday, May 14 2013 6:34 a.m. MDT

WEST VALLEY CITY — A former West Valley City councilwoman has thrown her hat in the ring for this November's mayoral race.

Margaret Peterson kicked off her campaign Monday with a promise to restore public trust, specifically calling for a complete review of the city's police department following months of scandal.

Peterson is seeking to return to public service in response to the city's "tarnished reputation," according to a news release.

The entirety of the department's neighborhood narcotics task force has been placed on leave, and 124 state and federal cases tied to the unit have been thrown out by the Salt Lake County District Attorney's office — all triggered by an internal review after two officers shot and killed 21-year-old Danielle Willard in November.

"Perhaps the best hope for change is working to change the culture of the department itself, with outside reviews, training and mentoring," Peterson said. "As we seek a solution, we must be sensitive to the morale and reputations of the vast majority of truly good and hardworking officers within the department."

Petersen served 17 years as an at-large member of the West Valley City Council and has been recognized for her public service and work with after-school programs.

Mayor Mike Winder, who was elected in 2009, said he will announce before the end of the month whether he will seek a second term.

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