PROVO — A Provo city councilman facing numerous felony charges of fraud and exploitation had his case transferred to American Fork Friday, after a Provo-based judge removed herself from the case.
Steven C. Turley, 43, is charged with seven counts of communication fraud, two counts of exploitation of a vulnerable adult and one count of a pattern of unlawful activity, all second-degree felonies. The charges stem from business dealings spanning July 2006 and December 2009, during which Turley allegedly defrauded others for profit.
In a hearing Wednesday in 4th District Court, Judge Claudia Laycock removed herself from the case and assigned a separate judge to it. On Friday, court records show the case was moved to American Fork — where newly-assigned Judge Christine Johnson typically hears cases.
Among the individuals Turley is accused of swindling through bogus real estate deals and development plans is someone over 65-years-old and someone who is mentally disabled, charges state.
Turley has been on the Provo City Council for 7½ years. Despite calls for his resignation from Provo's mayor and Turley's fellow council members, he has not stepped down from his post. Instead, in July, he sent an email announcing he would take a "leave of absence," which is not an option under city code.
Turley's defense attorney, Brett Tolman, has said that his client denies the allegations against him.