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Investigation finds Cox campaign manager engaged in sexual misconduct

Austin Cox.jpg
Posted at 4:36 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 18:36:26-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Spencer Cox announced Thursday that a recent investigation found his campaign manager had engaged in sexual misconduct, ending with him being no longer employed by the governor.

In a post to social media, Cox said a former campaign employee had approached his office regarding the conduct of Austin Cox, no relation to the governor. After hearing the complaint, Austin Cox was placed on administrative leave while an outside firm conducted an investigation.

According to Gov. Cox, the investigation concluded this week and "substantiated the woman's claims and found previously unreported hostile conduct towards select members of our team."

Austin Cox resigned from his position before he was terminated, the governor wrote.

"I was devastated to learn of this violation of trust and deeply saddened by the pain it has caused," the governor wrote. "I have apologized to the victim of this misconduct and other campaign staffers who experienced this harmful work environment."

In an April video posted to YouTube announcing his run to be named Vice Chair of the Utah Republican Party, Cox said he began managing election campaigns at the age of 19.

Cox said he led the primary and general election campaigns for Gov. Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson that ended with them winning the 2020 election.

"I take full responsibility for the failure of the campaign's policies and procedures to prevent this from happening," Gov. Cox added. "The Lt. Governor and I condemn this behavior in the strongest terms and will not tolerate any form of sexual misconduct.

"We will do everything possible to make sure this never happens again."