Ephraim Police Chief on administrative leave amid allegations of wrongdoing

Posted at 9:24 PM, Jun 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-16 23:24:01-04

EPHRAIM, Utah -- The longest serving police chief in the state of Utah is under investigation. Last week, Ephraim Police Chief Ron Rasmussen was put on paid administrative leave following allegations against him and his department.

"It's just incredible, I have no idea what to think about it, you know, stuff like that just shouldn't happen around here; we're a small, tight-knit community," said Ephraim resident TJ Mortensen.

Mortensen, like many people shopping on Main Street in Ephraim Friday, was shocked to find out their police chief for the past 27 years is under investigation for administrative wrongdoing and criminal wrongdoing.

"You are going to hear about it everywhere you go, you are going to hear about it when you are in the line, it's going to get around," said Ephraim resident Austin Colward.

Ephraim City Manager Brant Hanson said the city decided to investigate Rasmussen after receiving allegations against him and the department. They would not go into detail about what those allegations are.

"We are taking this extremely seriously, we know it's serious and we want to make sure we address these correctly," Hanson said.

The city asked Utah County to investigate, rather than Sanpete County, so there wouldn't be any possible conflict of interest.

"As a city we are actually looking forward to the outcome of the investigation, we want to known if there are issues going on," Hanson said. "Just like any organization, we are looking for opportunities to improve what we are doing."

Without the chief, Ephraim is left with four full-time police officers, and 7,000 residents. The city says not to worry.

"It doesn't impact the day-to-day operations, we do have a number of part-time officers available to call on, the sheriff's office has also agreed to assist when necessary," Hanson said.

The results of the investigation are expected to be released by the end of next week.