Utah County Commissioner Greg Graves is being asked to step down from his position amid allegations of sexual harassment.
“He’s lost the trust of the citizens of this county,” said Commissioner Bill Lee.
The county hired an outside consultant to investigate claims by a female employee about her interactions with Commissioner Graves. Within the complaint are claims including:
“[My superior and I] were in a golf cart together and the superior rubbed my leg just above the knee and laughed and said, “don’t show it if you don’t want it touched.”
The female employee said it was one incident in a series of demeaning and hostile comments. She claims to have complained, but says instead of help she was denied a raise.
“I will not stand idly by when I feel someone is abusing their power to harm and belittle other people,” said fellow Utah County Commissioner Nathan Ivie.
Ivie called for Graves to step down hours before the details of the sexual harassment investigation were made public.
“When you look someone in the eye and they are broken because someone in power abused them, that’s heart-wrenching,” said Ivie, who characterized Graves' alleged conduct as a pattern of abuse and bullying.
Thursday, the Utah County Republican Party also called for Graves to resign, saying the investigation report details his misconduct.
"Greg Graves has made a mockery of his office as count commissioner and also of the principles of the Republican Party," said Rob Craig, Chair of the Utah County Republican Party. "His conduct is unacceptable. We have higher expectations of our elected Republican officials. These actions demand his immediate resignation. He no longer has the confidence of the Utah Republican Party and its members."
The UCRP says that if Graves does not resign immediately then they "will pursue his censure, at a minimum, and his removal from office in accordance with Utah State Code, if possible."
Graves released a statement in response to the allegation, writing in part:
“I have done nothing wrong in my capacity as a commissioner...I would ask people to take notice of my work and not the slanderous words of a couple people who are attempting to stop me from doing my job.”
Graves wrote that he will not resign and will work to clear his name.
According to Ivie, Graves may end up with more complaints to address. He says he expects several other county employees to come forward.
“I anticipate those coming in the next few days,” Ivie said.
The full statement from Graves reads:
"It is with no doubt and hesitation that I have done nothing wrong in my capacity as a commissioner. I will do absolutely everything in my ability to defend myself and prove myself to be truthful and categorically deny any wrong doing. I am disappointed that people would use the news of the day to attack and stop me from doing my job. I would ask people to take notice of my work and not the slanderous words of a couple people who are attempting to stop me from doing my job. I am thankful to my wife and family who are my foundation of strength. I am grateful to my family for teaching me the principles that guide me today. I love serving the people of Utah County and will faithfully do so until the end of my term."
A redacted copy of the complaint in question is embedded below: