Comments about ‘Letters: Gill needs to answer the hard questions’

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Published: Monday, Aug. 19 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Love skiing
Salt Lake City, UT

Welcoe to the party Jonathan, you are just a bit late. Have you ever heard of Lohra Miller? It all started with her. Before anyone in this state start questioning Sim Gill, they have to start with Swallow first. The stench coming from that office is so bad that people in Texas can smell it.

Martin Blank
Salt Lake City, UT

It's fairly obvious from Mr. Fink's letter that no, he doesn't understand the situation very well. The district attorney's office oversees, but does not direct, the police agencies in its jurisdiction. The 100+ cases that Mr. Fink refers to were not filed without evidence; the DA's office found out later, as part of the Willard investigation, that evidence-chain procedures were not being followed by WVC's narcotics task force, and therefore those cases were, essentially, unprosecutable. It's WVCPD's problem that those procedures weren't being followed; it's most likely why their chief retired early--there should have been better oversight from the PD administration. When it crosses the line into illegality is when the DA's office should (and did) get involved. Why does the DA's office blame others? Because that's its defined mission--and in this case, others are to blame.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Why did the West Valley Administration indicate they needed to root out corruption? Why did the West Valley Police Department not place drugs into evidence? Should the West Valley Police investigate the West Valley Police?

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

One more. Should that Republican official that made the attack based on family heritage resign?

thpslc
Holladay, UT

Dear Mr. Fink, while "we" are asking questions, I have one for you. What is your motivation in asking these questions? Do you really want answers? Have you asked the D.A. these actual questions or did you just write this letter to inflame the political rhetoric?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Sim Gill is going to have to answer all these questions and more during his re-election campaign (IF he hopes to get my vote).

Some will vote for Sim Gill no matter what. For me... I will need to hear his explanation. I need to see if there is any fallout from putting 107 drug dealers back on the streets. I'm assuming that will be investigated. I need to see how that works out.

It's not his job to reform the West Valley PD, but I need to see how that turns out as well. If after that's done, if he can restore a working relationship with law enforcement... then maybe he's the man for the job. If not... I hope we have some better alternatives in the wings.

Shaun
Sandy, UT

@2bits. Sim gill did not put 107 drug dealers back on the street. West Valley's disbanded narcotics did. Their narcotics unit's problems ranged from undisclosed amounts of missing drugs and money, to officers taking "trophies, trinkets or souvenirs" from drug-related crime scenes, to using GPS trackers without first securing a warrant.

The federal government also dismissed cases where the west valley narcotics unit were involved.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Mr. Fink,

Before your questions can be answered, you first need a basic education in how law enforcement works.

The police tell the prosecutors what evidence they have. During trial the evidence is examined and the defense attorney can question its validity.

The DA's office is taking full responsibility for its actions - it is responsible for prosecuting crimes in Salt Lake County, even if those crimes are committed by police.

As for the cases that were dismissed, the only ones responsible for mishandling the evidence were the police.

You can decry ad hominem attacks all you want, but asking loaded questions that presume guilt is also a logical fallacy.

UTAH Bill
Salt Lake City, UT

All of Mr. Gill's legal actions have been handled in the light of day in public courts. They are a matter of record. And, he's addressed the conceptual issues several times. It's apparent the letter writer was not paying attention.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Shaun,
The officers did not dismiss any cases. They didn't make that decision. Gill did. He needs to own it. The officers made mistakes and put him in the position of having to make the decision, but Gill dismissed the cases, not the officers.

Maybe Gill made the right decision. Maybe he didn't. But not every officer is dirty. Not every case needs to be dismissed.

West Valley needs a narcotics unit. Not a grandstanding DA.

Shaun
Sandy, UT

@2bits. The officers did essentially dismiss the cases because they were reckless with evidence and obtained evidence illegally. What is so complicated to understand that evidence and testimony from witnesses can not be tainted.

Now you have to read in between the lines. What if an officer from the narcotics unit was not necessarily following procedure or the letter of law in the cases they were involved in? What happens if their police department and the fbi start an investigation into the narcotics unit?

What would you do as an officer if you were called to testify in a case where it has now been discovered that the cat is out of a the bag so to speak with your narcotics unit evidence mishandling and illegal gps tracking? Would you testify in that case and risk the defense attorney cross examination and investigation into whether you were a part of the evidence mishandling and illegal gps tracking? Or would you choose not to testify?

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