The man who resigned last week as West Valley City's fire chief after being accused of sexual harassment is now the subject of a criminal investigation by the Salt Lake District Attorney's Office.
Assistant District Attorney Bud Ellett said his office received a letter seeking an investigation of W. John Williams from West Valley's city manager and police chief last week."They thought maybe there was something more (to the allegations)," he said. "They thought there should be further investigation and it should be done by an independent (agency), and we agreed."
Williams stepped down March 2 when confronted with allegations that he sexually harassed a female city employee.
Both city officials and the district attorney's office declined to give any details about the allegations against Williams.
City spokesman Ted Nguyen confirmed Monday city officials sent the letter "after the victim requested an investigation by the DA's office."
The matter was referred to the county, he said, because an internal investigation of the case would have been perceived as a conflict of interest.
There is no police report on file with West Valley concerning any of the allegations against Williams.
Nguyen said he was not aware of the nature of the allegation or whether it might rise to the level of a criminal offense. Whether the conduct was criminal is a decision that will be made by the District Attorney's Office.
"It will be up to the independent review" to determine that, he said. "We will fully cooperate with the District Attorney's office."
District Attorney investigator Steve Bartlett declined to talk about specifics but said he was still in the information gathering stages of the probe.
Williams worked for West Valley for more than 17 years and served as fire chief for four years.
City Manager John Patterson said last week that he was advised of the problem and met with Williams, who resigned that same day.
At the time, Patterson said the chief had resigned to avoid going through an investigation of multiple incidents reported by the female employee.