WEST JORDAN — Councilman Jeff Haaga attended his first West Jordan City Council meeting Wednesday since an alleged drunken espisode in July.
However, Haaga didn't publicly address the allegations against him and left the meeting soon after council members began a closed session.
Haaga was charged July 23 with failure to remain at the scene of an accident, a class C misdemeanor, for allegedly backing into a car in the parking lot of Sheep Bar & Grill while drunk four days prior and then driving away.
Witnesses told police Haaga was drunk at the time. Body camera footage from that night also shows an officer telling Haaga that he should probably be arrested for DUI, though he never was. According to the same video, Haaga tells police officer he is "protected" in his situation because of his status as a city councilman.
Haaga pleaded not guilty to his lone charge in August. No court date has been set in his case.
Haaga has missed every City Council meeting since his alleged offense until Wednesday, when he voted affirmatively on a few unanimously passed motions, but otherwise was quiet during the short public meeting.
An attempt to reach Haaga at his home afterward was unsuccessful.
Earlier this month, the West Jordan City Council voted in favor of an ordinance that implements specific standards of ethical conduct for the city's elected officials. The ordinance outlines behaviors that are deemed unacceptable, such as domestic violence or failure to cooperate with law enforcement. Leaving the scene of an accident and DUI offenses are also listed.
Under Utah law, Haaga cannot be removed from office for the citation alone because it isn't categorized as a crime that could be cause for his expulsion. His term runs through 2018.