AMERICAN FORK In nearly five years as the executive assistant in Eagle Mountain, Angie Ferre has worked for eight different mayors.
But Brian Olsen, as the first full-time mayor, was the first to ask Ferre to create mileage reimbursement reports for him, Ferre said.
Ferre testified Tuesday morning in 4th District Court that during Olsen's 10 months in office, she compiled weekly mileage reports for events and conferences Olsen had recorded on his calendar.
Only once did Ferre question a request Olsen made when he asked for reimbursement for a meeting she had attended in his place on Feb. 16, 2006.
She was the first witness prosecutors put on the stand Tuesday in Olsen's case. Olsen is charged with seven felonies of misusing public money, stemming from what prosecutors allege are inappropriate mileage requests.
Ferre testified to a jury that days after she attended the February meeting for Olsen, she filed her own reimbursement request.
When she saw Olsen later that day, she reminded him that she had attended the meeting for him, so he didn't need the mileage.
She said he became irritated and replied that he had attended a meeting there earlier that day.
"You took that he was angry?" defense attorney Ron Yengich asked.
"He was irritated," Ferre said.
"Did you, on any of these other reimbursements there seems to be some questions about, did you ever go and talk to (him)?" Yengich asked.
"No," Ferre said. "I didn't have any reason to believe he wasn't going."
Prosecutors allege there were seven different situations in which Olsen requested reimbursement checks and later cashed them, but didn't actually attend the conferences or meetings.
Yengich asked Ferre about the policy of cutting checks before a city official was to travel or attend a conference, and referred to a personnel handbook that Ferre said she had been unaware of until recently.
"Sometimes he would give you (information) about where he was going and receive a check in advance," Yengich said. "Is that consistent with the policy and procedures in place in October of 2006 with the city?"
"I believe so," Ferre said. "I vaguely went through it last night."
She clarified that she never received official training for her job and that no one had informed her of any manuals or policy books until just recently. She simply went off the forms the finance department provided.
In early October 2006, Olsen requested pretrip reimbursement for mileage and food for a three-day water-law conference in Springdale.
However, attorneys presented stipulated testimony that Olsen never registered at the water-law conference, which was actually only two days long, not three.
Mark Madsen, an attorney and Republican senator from Lehi, also testified that due to his work with real estate litigation in Eagle Mountain, he frequently needed to speak with Olsen.
On Oct. 6, he noticed Olsen's car in his driveway and stopped for a visit although Olsen was supposed to have been at the conference.
Yengich questioned Madsen about Olsen's wife, who was having a difficult pregnancy at the time.
"During the course of that discussion, (did) Brian say, 'I'm worried about her, I'm staying home this weekend'?" Yengich asked, adding that sometimes personal matters can trump prescheduled work meetings."I knew that prior to that time, but I don't recall that he made a specific statement on that date," Madsen said. "I understood that was the ongoing situation."
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