News

Actions

11 officers disciplined by Utah POST Council

Default-Image_1280x720.png
Posted at 3:33 PM, Jun 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-22 18:04:25-04

SANDY — At its quarterly meeting, 11 officers were disciplined by the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, the agency that certifies police officers.

On Monday, POST officials said they had 93 active investigations involving misconduct complaints involving police officers, including 23 new investigations. The disciplinary actions handed down on Monday include:

  • Aaron Bird, a former Tooele County Sheriff’s deputy, accused of smoking marijuana. The POST Council approved a 2-year suspension;
  • Jeffery Clegg, a former Salt Lake County Sheriff’s deputy, accused of falsifying a government record. POST investigators said Clegg was accused of adding overtime to his time card. The POST Council voted for a one-year suspension;
  • Bryan Cunningham, a former Utah Valley University police officer, accused of DUI. The POST Council approved a one-year suspension;
  • Chance Kirkham, a former Iron County Sheriff’s deputy, accused of furnishing alcohol to a minor and unlawfully transporting alcohol across state lines. POST investigators accused Kirkham of driving a 19-year-old family friend to Mesquite and driving back with liquor he purchased there. Kirkham’s attorney, Lindsay Jarvis, told the POST Council he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and got probation.

“Since my poor lapse in judgment, I’ve done everything to make this right,” Kirkham told the council.

The POST Council voted for a one-and-a-half year suspension.

  • Michael Peterson, a former Utah Department of Corrections employee, was given a one-year suspension for a DUI;
  • John Lyle, a former Utah Transit Authority police officer, was given a one-year suspension for a DUI;
  • Arnold Sawyer was given a 2-year suspension by the council for lying on an application to POST;
  • Jason Sorenson was given a 4-year-suspension for wanton destruction of protected wildlife. POST investigators claimed he participated in a mountain lion hunt that was illegal;
  • Jami Spicer, a Box Elder County Sheriff’s deputy, was given a letter of caution after a 2013 domestic dispute;
  • Stephen Sterrett, a former Weber County Sheriff’s deputy, was given a 2-year suspension for a DUI;
  • Salvador Toscano, a Smithfield police officer, was given a letter of caution for assault. In comments to the POST Council, Toscano said he had grabbed a teenage boy by the shirt and told him to stay away from his daughter. His department took no disciplinary action against him.

With nearly 9,000 certified police officers in Utah, POST has said the number of officers disciplined is less than one percent of the total force.