BLANDING — Police Chief Lyle Bayles has resigned, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.
However, the state agency that certifies Utah peace officers confirmed Thursday that it is actively investigating the longtime law enforcement veteran.
On July 11, Bayles submitted a letter to Blanding Mayor Calvin Balch announcing his immediate resignation from the job he had held since August 2008 in the community of 3,500 residents.
"I am a better person for having rubbed shoulders with you," Bayles wrote. "I have been in law enforcement for 28 years and it is time for me to focus on my family and other priorities."
Blanding City Manager Jeremy Redd told the Deseret News the chief left his post on good terms with city leaders. Bayles was not the subject of any internal city investigations when he resigned, Redd said.
Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Todd Royce did confirm, though, that Bayles is the subject of an investigation by Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training. Royce said he is restricted from discussing the nature of that investigation due to its active status.
Redd said he was unaware of the state investigation until the Deseret News told him about it Thursday. A message left for Bayles on his personal cellphone was not immediately returned.
Bayles' resignation comes nearly four months after two of his officers tendered their resignations.
Blanding Police Sgt. Corey Workman resigned on March 17. Three days later, officer Jeffery Whipple submitted his resignation. Both cited personal reasons, Redd said at the time.
"They were both in good standing with the police department at the time of their resignations," he said.
Redd also said in March that he was "not aware of any internal or external investigations" involving Workman or Whipple. "They certainly could stay in law enforcement," he said, "but I haven't heard what they plan to do."
State investigators are not looking at Workman or Whipple for allegations of misconduct, Royce said Thursday. Workman had served on the Blanding force for 11 years, while Whipple worked for the department for almost a year.
The city has filled the vacancies created by the two resignations in March, Redd said. Assistant Police Chief Mike Bradford is serving as the interim chief until Bayles' replacement is hired.
Email: [email protected], Twitter: GeoffLiesik