Salt Lake County officials tried to wrongly blame fired secretary Debra Sauers for a mistake that may have caused a man to remain in jail too long, a Salt Lake City police officer said Friday.
Officer Sterling Hamner said he refused to sign an affidavit prepared by the county because he believed it blamed Sauers for the mistake. Another secretary in the county attorney's office was to blame, but that woman never was punished, he said.Attorney Gerry D'Elia, a former county prosecutor, is trying to persuade the Career Service Council that Sauers was framed by county officials because she supported fellow secretary Shauna Clark in her sexual harassment allegations against the county.
The council, a three-person tribunal, has the authority to reinstate Sauers, who was fired in January.
Sterling said a man was allowed to stay in jail from a Saturday to a Tuesday without a warrant. The man has since filed a lawsuit, he said.
County officials claim Sauers was fired because her production was extremely low and judges were complaining that criminal charges were not being typed soon enough.
Clark testified Thursday and Friday that administrators appeared to be out to get Sauers, punishing her for things every secretary was doing.
But Jerry Campbell, the attorney representing the county, contends Clark was transferred away from Sauers several months before problems started that led to the firing.
Clark and Sauers were the victims listed in the forcible sexual abuse indictments against former Salt Lake County Attorney Ted L. Cannon. The indictments were handed up by a grand jury in 1986.
Cannon pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of assault in connection with the allegations, spending 30 days in jail for that and other offenses.
Clark recently accepted a settlement with the county after filing a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment. She still is a secretary for the county attorney's office.
D'Elia claims County Attorney David Yocom refused Sauers' requests to be transferred to the downtown office because she supported Clark in her lawsuit. Yocom has not been asked to testify in the hearing.