Brigham City community divided over future of mayor

Posted at 4:09 PM, Dec 06, 2012

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah - The Brigham City Council met Thursday night for the first time after its mayor admitted to having an affair.

In a public letter released earlier this week, Fife admitted that he'd had an extramarital affair with a woman he met while serving as an LDS bishop; the affair happened after he was released as a bishop and before he became mayor.

Fife was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but he says he hopes to keep his job as mayor. He says he wrote the letter - published in a local paper - to come clean and ask for forgiveness.

The first Brigham City Council meeting was held on Thursday night and dozens of members of the community attended to talk about Fife's admissions and his future as mayor.

Some of the thirteen people who addressed the mayor and council offered words of support for their mayor.

"A great stake in the goodness of the community. And by goodness I mean people, and I mean the mayor. I'm here standing in support of Mayor Fife's decision to serve," said resident Bill Harrison.

"I care for this man deeply. He is a good man, I worked with him every day for ten years," said Ben Loyd. "This is a talented honest man with good capabilities, and it breaks my heart that he's made a mistake in his personal life, but we shouldn't throw him under the bus."

But others called for his resignation.

"I too regret that we have to have this discussion," said resident Becky Maddox. "My heart cries for his wife and for his family. The most important thing in his life right now is his wife and his family. He doesn't have time to micromanage the city."

"The problem I perceive is that we have a divided community; some people on this side and some people on that side and a wedge in the middle. The only way for you to solve that wedge mayor is for you to step aside," said Michael Allen.

One woman called Fife's affair a bad example for children while another said he's a great example because he came forward and told the truth.

Of the thirteen people who spoke Thursday, seven spoke in support of the mayor and six spoke against him.

Related story:
Brigham City mayor, former LDS Bishop, admits to affair