The public hearing portion of the decertification case against Carbon County's sheriff ended Wednesday with the sheriff admitting he had an affair with a dispatcher and then lied about it to investigators.
Although the admission, which came in the form of a stipulation, or agreement by both sides on certain facts in the case, ended the public hearings for now, the administrative process that could lead to revocation or suspension of Sheriff Barry R. Bryner's credentials will continue.The Peace Officers Standards and Training Council is reviewing allegations against the sheriff filed in an administrative complaint following a lengthy POST investigation.
The stipulation, signed by POST investigator William Flink and Bryner's attorney, Ronald J. Yengich, alleges misconduct by the sheriff, 40, with a former employee of the sheriff's department.
One count in the complaint, alleging that Bryner failed to investigate an incident of alleged evidence-tampering in a drunken driving case, was dismissed.
Several other allegations relating to Bryner's performance as a peace officer, some dating to his time as a deputy sheriff under former sheriff Ross Horsley, were not part of the stipulation agreement. These included allegations that he drove a patrol car too fast and improperly fired a service revolver while investigating a prowler incident.
The stipulation allows written statements and depositions to be entered as evidence without witnesses taking the stand to testify. Only two of the 40 expected witnesses in the case testified during the public hearing. Both appeared Monday. The hearing was then postponed while attorneys worked out the agreement, which was announced Wednesday afternoon.
Flink has until Feb. 24 and Yengich until March 24 to file legal briefs. March 29 has been reserved for another public hearing if further arguments or evidence need to be presented.
These documents and others will be reviewed by Administrative Law Judge Keith L. Stoney, who will make a recommendation to the POST Council. The council will make a recommendation to POST Director Clyde Palmer, who will make the final decision regarding Bryner's certification.
Even if Bryner is decertified, there has been some speculation that he may be able to serve out his term as sheriff.
The stipulation said Bryner, on Sept. 1, 1987, telephoned Kane County Sheriff Joseph T. Gonzales and told him that Bryner was under political pressure. At Bryner's request Gonzales provided a letter indicating that a training class would be held at Mount Carmel, Kane County, even though no legitimate training class was held in Mount Carmel or Kanab.
The stipulation stated that from Oct. 20 to 23, 1987, Bryner stayed at Gonzales' home in Mount Carmel, during which time the two men spent one hour discussing official business or purported training.
During that period, Bryner stayed at the Gonzales home and shared a bedroom with a woman, who at that time was a Carbon County sheriff's dispatcher.
In the document, Bryner admits to having misled Carbon County officials as to the purpose of the trip and to later having lied about the trip in a Department of Public Safety audit as well as a POST investigation by Flink.
He also admits to having allowed the woman to obtain inappropriate sick leave money in connection with the trip.
Bryner admits in the stipulation that during the woman's employment with the department, he, with the intent of benefiting her, knowingly authorized her to perform administrative duties inconsistent with her dispatcher's job and authorized payment of two sick days to which she was not entitled. He admits he failed to notify the county with regard to the authorized leave pursuant to normal administrative channels.