Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott to resign August 1

Posted at 3:53 PM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 23:31:19-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- After months of controversy surrounding his health and mental competency, Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott will resign August 1.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill made a joint announcement about the pending resignation Thursday.

The county and the court-appointed guardians of Ott reached an agreement under which Ott will resign effective August 1, 2017, a press release states. The release notes that while the remaining terms of the agreement have been submitted to a court of record for ratification, "Mr. Ott's resignation date is certain."

The agreement includes a lump-sum payment of $35,000, "which the parties agree is appropriate under these unique circumstances," the press release states.

The court-appointed guardians, Ott's sisters, will place the severance payout in an account dedicated to meeting Ott's ongoing medical and other needs "as he transitions out of public service."

"Mr. Ott served the County well and honorably for many years," the announcement from the mayor and DA reads. "The public discussion of his health and well-being has taken its toll not just on Mr. Ott, but on his family and friends, and indeed on all of Salt Lake County. We are hopeful today’s agreement will allow Mr. Ott to move forward more privately into the retirement he deserves."

The District Attorney's Office negotiated the agreement on behalf of Salt Lake County.

“This agreement represents a significant step toward preserving for Gary the dignity and care he needs," DA Sim Gill stated. "We worked hard to get to this agreement in place quickly and efficiently as soon as the family was legally able to negotiate on Gary’s behalf. I want to personally thank Gary’s sisters and brother, Mayor McAdams, and the Salt Lake County Council for coming together to fashion an effective, collaborative, and humanitarian solution to this issue.”

Earlier this month a judge ruled that Ott's family would take on his legal guardianship.

Questions have arisen in recent months about Ott's mental competency amid reports the work at the county recorder's office was proceeding without much direct involvement on his part, and in recent interviews his answers to questions have not made sense.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams publicly called for his resignation in June.

Various elected officials were troubled by the situation, as Utah law does not have a provision in place for impeaching an elected official on the grounds of their mental competency. Ott earned a salary of close to $200,000 year as County Recorder.