Juab County now has three candidates for county sheriff, but only one is certified by the state Police Officers and Standards Training - so incumbent David Carter is the only candidate who actually could be sworn into office in January.
Clyde Palmer, director of POST, said state law requires an elected county sheriff be certified before taking office.On Wednesday, Robert C. Smith, a Eureka Republican who in September lost a primary election race for county commissioner, announced that he is campaigning for the office as a write-in candidate.
Also seeking the position are Carter, a Levan resident and the incumbent Democrat, and Republican candidate Todd A. Bainter, Nephi.
Only Carter is certified as a peace officer.
John Clark, counsel to Utah Attorney General Paul Van Dam, said that when a potential candidate wants to file with the county clerk, the office's qualifications are read to him. A person must swear the qualifications are met, and in the case of the county sheriff candidate, the candidate must be POST certified.
A partisan candidate serious about taking office has time to certify between the time of the party nomination and the election. Nevertheless, the candidate must be certified before January.
However, according to the "Qualification for Candidate Filing Affidavit" form sent out by the state to county clerks, the county sheriff must be certified within six months of being elected. Pat Greenwood, Juab County clerk-auditor, said the forms were received at the first of this year. The form is in error.
"The statute providing a six-month grace period was repealed by the Legislature in January 1990," Clark said. "You no longer have the six-month grace period."
"There is certainly a problem with the write-in candidate," Clark said. "He should be called back in to the clerk's office and read the statute rather than the form."
Police-officer certification training runs 10 weeks. While several sessions are held each year, Palmer said, it is too late to qualify by January. "The next basic training session will not start until January."
If the party-selected candidate failed the training course or, the background check, or screening, or for any reason, could not become certified, and still won the election, then the post would become vacant and the County Commission would appoint a certified sheriff to fill the position until the next general election.
Because vacant county offices must be filled with a member of the same political party, the sheriff's post would switch from Democrat to Republican should Bainter or Smith win the election on Tuesday - even though the only certified candidate on the ballot is a Democrat.
- Democratic incumbent David H. Carter is a graduate of the National Sheriffs Institute, the National Academy and the FBI Academy.
He has received awards for outstanding service as vice president of Utah Sheriff's Association, for distinguished service on the board of directors of the Utah Peace Officers Association and for making an outstanding contribution, by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Carter said one of the most important problems facing the sheriff is preventing the vandalism to farms, equipment and other personal property. It is also important to control the large influx of recreational population and provide street-level drug control.
"The No. 1 priority for law enforcement is to educate our youth on drug, alcohol and other crime prevention," said Carter.
"I feel we have a very professional department and we are doing a good job. However, there is always room for improvement, and we are updating and implementing policy for improvement of the department all of the time."
- Robert C. Smith was defeated by 142 votes (359 to 501) in his bid for county commissioner. He lost to Republican Mike Keith who is facing Commission Chairman Joseph Bernini, incumbent Democrat, for election.
Commissioner Richard Brough, a Smith supporter, accused Democrats of crossing over to vote on the Republican ticket and thus affect the vote and cause Smith's defeat. "Why then let candidates whose ideas are entirely opposed to the majority will of the membership of a given political party receive a nomination to represent the said party in the final election?" asked Brough.
- Todd A. Bainter did not respond to inquiries by the Deseret News correspondent.
Other Juab races
The contested races are for two County Commission seats for county assessor.
The incumbent county treasurer, clerk and recorder are all unopposed.
For commission seat A, Bernini is being opposed by Keith, of Mona.
Ike Lunt is running on the Republican ticket for the commissioner B position. Democrat Vard White is seeking the same position. Incumbent Jim Garrett is not running for re-election.
Norman L. Anderson, Democrat, is incumbent county assessor and is seeking to retain the position. He is being opposed by LouAnn Thalman, Republican.
Pat Greenwood, incumbent Democrat, is unopposed for the position of clerk-auditor. Her Republican opponent, Patrick McCaffery, withdrew early in the campaign because of work opportunities.
Joyce Pay, incumbent Republican, is unopposed for county treasurer.
Craig J. Sperry, incumbent Democrat, is running unopposed for county recorder.
Don Eyre Jr., county attorney, is running for the position unopposed.