KAYSVILLE — Following no public discussion, the Kaysville City Council voted to censure Councilman Dave Adams and call for his resignation Thursday night in wake of reports he's being investigated for extortion.
The vote resulted in shouts of outrage from a crowd of Adams' supporters attending the meeting.
"We want a discussion," one woman yelled.
Newly elected Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt warned that people disrupting the meeting would be removed under the city's public decorum rules.
"You're not a dictator," Cheryl Tarbet shouted back.
Several times throughout the meeting, Witt banged her gavel demanding decorum, asking the crowd repeatedly to not shout, applaud or boo.
Adams, who was excused from the council due to a conflict of interest, stood silently in the back of the room with his arms crossed as the vote played out. He said in an interview after the meeting that he won't resign.
"I came tonight with the intentions of serving in the duty I have taken on, and I leave tonight with those same intentions," Adams said.
Asked about the extortion allegations against him, Adams declined to comment on the investigation other than saying, "I'll move forward with the respect that all entities involved are doing the best they can, just like I am."
The mayor and council members said earlier this week they were going to vote in favor of the resolution. Witt said the council "does not take a stand on his innocence or guilt" on allegations of extortion, but the appearance of impropriety "leaves our residents to question if he would conduct himself honorably when he is making decisions on the council."
About a dozen people waited more than an hour until the end of the meeting to comment publicly on the council's censure. Most of the commenters, including Jenn Beard, criticized the council for censuring Adams.
"Any one of you can be accused of anything at any time," Beard said. "Just because someone has been accused of something doesn’t mean they’re guilty.”
Another woman, Sue Tice, called the council's censure of Adams "hypocritical."
"Rather than allow the courts to do their work, you have decided to allow him to be tried by the media," Tice said.
But former Councilman Chris Snell — who has clashed with Adams in the past — commended the council for its action.
"There's nothing to say about my experience with Dave Adams that doesn't start with the combative nature," Snell said, adding that Adams has "been known to show up at fellow council members' homes late at night at times unannounced and uninvited, typically in a combative mode."
When Snell's three-minute time limit ended, he was shouted down — to which Witt banged her gavel and shouted, "I have to have order and civility in this room!"
The contentious gathering marked the first council meeting for Witt and two new council members, Michelle Barber and James Hansen, who were ceremoniously sworn into office less than an hour before the meeting.
Despite the public outcries, all council members minus Adams voted in favor of the resolution to censure the councilman for allegedly violating the city's code of conduct and issue a public letter "respectfully requesting" that he resign from the council.
At the end of the meeting, Adams thanked the meeting's attendees, adding that he will "continue to work hard on your behalf."
"I know at times I haven't been at my best," he said. "I appreciate those of you who are willing to bear with me when I am not at my best. I am trying. I appreciate the love and appreciation from all of you."
The City Council "does not take a position in the guilt or innocence" on Adams' case, but council members "would like to be productive and believe the allegations leveled against Dave Adams may be a distraction to such productivity," the resolution states.
The Deseret News first reported Friday that the Davis County District Attorney's Office is investigating Adams for possibly extorting Layton sod farmer Daren Deru after allegedly demanding that he pay $250,000 because he had possession of a tractor-trailer dolly Adams apparently needed to fix his personal firetruck, according to a recently unsealed search warrant affidavit.
Earlier, state auditors found Adams inappropriately used nearly $6,000 of city funds to repair for that firetruck. Adams was ordered to pay back the city.
The investigation into Adams began after he accused Deru of stealing the tractor-trailer dolly from him earlier this year. After Farmington police investigated the theft allegations and the Davis County Attorney's Office declined to file charges, Farmington police recommended prosecutors then begin investigating Adams for possible extortion, according to the search warrant affidavit.7 comments on this story
The case has also raised questions about Adams' ties to Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson, whom Adams reportedly asked for help because he "was not happy with the outcome" of Farmington police's investigation into the councilman's theft allegations, according to the affidavit. Richardson then made two attempts "to investigate and get a different outcome," the warrant states.
Adams later decreased his demands of Deru from $250,000 to $11,5000 and planned a meeting between himself, Deru and the sheriff to arrange a "payoff" to end his and Deru's dispute, according to the affidavit.