West Jordan council member who pleaded guilty in hit-and-run case resigns

Posted at 12:03 PM, Mar 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-21 14:05:27-04

WEST JORDAN, Utah — West Jordan City Councilman Jeff Haaga has submitted a resignation letter effective immediately, according to a statement released by the city Tuesday.

Haaga cited "personal family matters" as the reason for his resignation, the statement said.

In July 2016, witnesses told police Haaga was drunk when he drove away from a bar and allegedly struck a parked vehicle. Police responded to Haaga's home and gave him a misdemeanor citation for failing to remain at the scene of an accident.

"The officers were kind of on the fence with the DUI, and there's a few reasons as to why they didn't decide to go down that road. One of them is he [wasn't in] physical control of his vehicle any longer. He had been home for quite some time, approximately an hour, and his vehicle was in the garage. So it's tough to tie that together and go backwards at that point," said Lt. Matt Pennington, South Jordan Police Department.

Haaga initially pleaded not guilty to the charge of leaving the scene of an accident, but he changed his plea to "guilty" in October.

Haaga, the statement from West Jordan City said, had served as councilman since January 2014 and he represented the city "at large," rather than a particular district.

“I wish him the best,” said Mayor Kim V. Rolfe in the statement. “With so many great people living in our city, I’m confident we will find someone who will be able to effectively fill this position.”

The City Council will likely appoint someone to fill the remainder of the term, which runs through Dec. 31, 2017. The City Council could also choose not to fill this at-large seat because the position is up for election this year. If they decide to fill the position, the appointment will take place in an open meeting at a date to be determined.