NewsFox 13 Investigates

Actions

Sheriff Jared Rigby’s future with POST could be decided Tuesday

Posted at 3:58 PM, Jan 30, 2023

SANDY, Utah — Members of the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council are expected to discuss and decide Wasatch County Sheriff Jared Rigby's future during an emergency meeting Tuesday at 1 p.m. in Sandy.

Rigby was originally scheduled to serve as the director of POST until state leaders became “concerned” with a video published by FOX 13 News in 2021.

The video shows Rigby accused of “bullying” and “intimidating” a Heber City police officer who reported Chief Dave Booth for grabbing a handcuffed suspect by the neck.

Heber City chose Rigby to lead an internal investigation into Booth’s conduct.

Several Heber City officers said they believe Rigby and Booth are “friends” who “hang out together” and are members of the same church, which is why the city chose him to lead the investigation.

Phil Kirk, a spokesperson for Heber City described the investigation as “thorough” and “arduous,” even though he later admitted he had never read the report.

According to Rigby’s 34-page report, he conducted zero interviews prior to clearing Booth.

Officer Lucas McTaggart was the first officer to report Booth for use of force.

Rigby did not interview McTaggart until after clearing Booth.

During that interview, Rigby told McTaggart he would not have a future with Heber City PD unless he changed his mind on Booth’s use of force.

Rigby stated his comments were taken out of context.

Still, his lack of an investigation into Booth’s conduct, along with the “witness intimidation” complaint, have raised ethical questions among state leaders.

In an interview with FOX 13 News, Rigby insisted that he interviewed Booth as part of the internal affairs investigation and that it should appear in his report.

According to DPS, if Rigby lied in his interview with FOX 13 News, it would be one of many variables considered in his now-pending appointment and backgrounding process.

“We consider everything,” said Hillary Koellner, a spokesperson for DPS.

As the director of POST, Rigby would oversee the training and investigation of approximately 9,000 officers, deputies, and troopers across Utah.

Tuesday’s discussion will be led by Chief Wade Carpenter of the Park City Police Department.

Carpenter has been meeting with Governor Cox’s office behind closed doors to lobby on behalf of Rigby.

The Utah Sheriff’s Association has also lobbied on behalf of Rigby.

The state’s largest police union, Utah Fraternal Order of Police, has lobbied against Rigby.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner Jess Anderson will also attend the meeting. His role is to appoint a candidate to the POST Director position upon recommendation by POST Council and with the approval of Governor Spencer Cox, pursuant to 53-6-104(1).

The last time POST Council voted on recommendations for the POST Director position, they only sent Rigby’s name to DPS for consideration. At the time, members of POST Council said they didn’t know about the “witness intimidation” video or the POST complaint filed against Rigby.

“Did you feel like your hands were tied?” asked FOX 13 News investigative reporter Adam Herbets.

“Well, I was provided one name that came from POST Council, and I moved forward with that name,” Anderson said.

“Did you have any other concerns about Rigby, other than what we’re talking about today?” Herbets asked.

“I’m not going to elaborate on that,” Anderson replied.

Anderson said he was not familiar with the specifics of the complaint against Rigby to POST until after the original appointment.

“(The video) didn’t come to my attention until after the fact,” Anderson said. “Certainly I have an obligation to look into that further... Why would you allow yourself to go down a certain path of what appears to be, and has been represented, as threatening?”

Stay with FOX 13 News for updates on this developing story.

Story Idea or Tips
If you have a story idea or tip for the FOX 13 Investigative unit, please share it with us below: