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Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski's administration fired one of her top department heads last month after a human resources investigation concluded he engaged in "offensive behavior" related to sex, religion and inappropriate language.

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski's administration fired one of her top department heads last month after a human resources investigation concluded he engaged in "offensive behavior" related to sex, religion and inappropriate language.

That included referring to managers with a term thought to be "very sexual and nasty in nature," sharing inappropriate jokes with employees, making "inappropriate comments related to religion," as well as using vulgar language, according to an investigative report the Deseret News obtained through a public records request.

Gregory Daly, whom Biskupski appointed after a national search as chief information officer over the city's Information Management Service department, was terminated on Oct. 3, Biskupski's spokesman, Matthew Rojas, confirmed this week.

After a complaint against Daly was submitted in May, a city human resources staffer interviewed 12 witnesses, including Daly, before compiling a 14-page, Sept. 17 report concluding that several allegations against Daly were sustained.

One allegation related to "offensive behavior related to sex," however, wasn't sustained by the human resources investigation and was, therefore, redacted from the report along with several pages of findings related to that allegation, as is allowed under Utah open records laws, Rojas said.

Names of witnesses and other employees were also redacted from the report to protect their identities.

Rojas declined to discuss or comment on any specifics of the investigation into Daly or the allegations against him.

"(The allegations) were thoroughly and properly investigated, and they were found to have some merit after this investigation," Rojas said. "Mr. Daly simply did not live up to the high standards the mayor sets for her Cabinet members and Mr. Daly was let go."

Rojas said Biskupski was "disappointed" when she learned of the allegations against Daly.

"She sets a high standard for the people who are a part of her Cabinet, and it was certainly disappointing for the mayor to hear about that," Rojas said. "The mayor's office took the action necessary, in line with our values."

Rojas said Daly's employment was terminated without severance pay.

Daly could not be reached for comment Thursday or Friday.

Biskupski recommended Daly to the management post in the summer of 2016, crediting him as the "clear choice" in a national search due to his technical abilities, leadership and business operations experience, according to her recommendation letter. The City Council approved his appointment.

Daly was hired after Biskupski let go three department heads (and later a fourth), as part of her transition as mayor. Daly replaced the city's former information management services director, Bill Haight. Daly moved to Utah from California.

Allegations

The human resources investigator concluded several allegations against Daly were "sustained" after being corroborated by witnesses interviewed in the investigation.

Among the allegations were that Daly shared jokes or comments of sexual nature, including a term that an employee considered "very sexual and nasty in nature," the report states.

In an interview with the investigator, Daly said he "uses the term 'playfully' and would have ceased doing so if he had been informed anyone considered the remark to be offensive." When asked what he believed the term to mean, Daly replied, "nothing," according to the report.

Interviews also supported the allegation that Daly also shared "inappropriate jokes and/or memes" in the workplace, the investigator concluded.

Daly told the investigator he may have shared jokes or memes with an employee, but had "no reason to believe" he or she was offended. When asked if any of the jokes or memes he shared may have had a sexual connotation, Daly told the investigator "no" because "he doesn't 'deal with sexual topics.'"

As for allegations regarding offensive behavior related to religion, the investigator reported several witnesses "indicated Daly has made comments about religion; however, no witness considered Daly's remarks to be offensive or perceives that disparate treatment occurs due to religion."

However, witnesses said it was "not uncommon" for Daly to call an employee "bishop" or "elder" — terms Daly told the investigator he didn't mean to be disrespectful but intended to convey "quite the opposite."

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In addition, the investigator concluded evidence indicated Daly made comments and engaged in behavior that is "nevertheless inappropriate and/or offensive," including commenting on the physical appearance of male and female employees, reacting angrily to an employee's request for a new office chair, making "crude" and "rude" comments, "yelling" at employees, and displaying a "general lack of professionalism," according to the investigator's letter to Daly.

"Combined with the fact that Daly uses inappropriate language in the workplace … it appears he frequently makes disrespectful comments and uses offensive language that … rise to the level of a violation of the city's anti-discrimination and harassment policy," the investigator wrote.