Provo mayor addresses Provo police chief’s resignation, sex assault allegations

Posted at 10:22 AM, Mar 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-16 19:32:36-04

PROVO, Utah - We're learning more information about why Provo police chief John King resigned this week.

During a press conference Thursday, Provo Mayor John Curtis told the media it was because of sexual assault allegations against Chief King.

"He, in my opinion, lost his ability to govern this department with the confidence of the city," Curtis said.

Mayor Curtis told the media that it was on February 8 that he received a complaint alleging that Chief King sexually assaulted a woman. He wouldn't tell release any other details about the incident, but did clarify she was not a Provo city employee and not a minor.

"The whole process has been extremely difficult on him, and I know he deeply regrets the shadow this cast," Curtis said.

To avoid a conflict on interest, the case was handed over to the Unified Police Department and investigated by the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office.

"The information that we received in the investigation simply did not support the filing of criminal charges: There was insufficient evidence to do so," says Chief Deputy DA Blake Nakamura.

Even though no charges were filed, Mayor Curtis felt the damage had been done.

"Regardless of how valid the charges were, he has been tainted and damaged, and it was my feeling that it would be impossible for him going forward to lead the department," Curtis said.

Referring to a homicide which occurred in the city of Provo Tuesday, the mayor said he needs someone who can be reliable and trustworthy.

"I need somebody when something like that happens in my city to be 100% head in the game, and then they have to stand before the public, and I cant have the public questioning them," Curtis said. "I can't have their credibility questionable."

Mayor Curtis says he will announce the interim chief, who will be one of four captains in the department, on Monday.