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Sheriff Determines Park City Superintendent's Broken Window Not Result Of Vandalism

Park City School District

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office opened and closed an investigation Friday into allegations of vandalism at Park City Superintendent Jill Gildea’s house. Law enforcement determined no criminal activity occurred.

On Friday, a week after she discovered a broken window in her Jeremy Ranch home, Park City School District Superintendent Jill Gildea officially filed a report with the sheriff’s office. Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Wright says Gildea was out of town that week and filed the report when she returned. A deputy began the investigation Friday afternoon by speaking with Gildea, who reported hearing glass break in her home the morning of Nov. 1. The deputy then visited the home to look for evidence and inspect the broken window.

“It was, in fact, a kitchen window that had been broken," Wright said. "When he looked at it, he realized that it was the inside pane of the window that had been broken. Of course, he went outside to ensure that there wasn't an additional break on the outside pane, just to verify that what he was seeing from the inside of the house was the same on the outside.”

Wright says the deputy noted no damage to the outside of the residence. The deputy confirmed with a local glass company that the damage on the inside of the window was likely due to a temperature differential within the glass.

“When the sergeant showed the photos of the break to these window experts, they did say those look similar to those associated with temperature fluctuation—they call it a stress break or a stress fracture," Wright said. "That is usually a defect with the glass and that can happen overtime to any window, depending on defects and, again, that temperature fluctuation.”

The deputy reported his findings to Gildea and closed the case a few hours after it opened, Wright says, when it was determined no vandalism had occurred.

“She was relieved, of course, to find out...she realized that this probably was not a targeted attack, that it was actually exactly what it ended up being—a defect in the glass," Wright said. "Of course, at the sheriff's office we’re very grateful that that ended up being the case and that we didn't have a bigger issue within our community.”

The Park City School District purchased Gildea’s home in 2018 for more than $800,000, to provide housing within school boundaries for Gildea and future superintendents. The district is making $200,000 in repairs and safety upgrades to the home’s driveway.

Park City School District spokesperson Melinda Colton provided this statement to KPCW:

"Park City School District is grateful for the immediate response in the investigation of both harassing comments within the NextDoor app as well as the damaged window at the district owned property. District leadership and Superintendent Gildea are relieved that the negative social media comments did not escalate to negative actions toward the district-owned property. The Superintendent has appreciated the kindness and thoughtful gestures this past week from students, staff, and community members. We are moving forward and getting on with the business of educating students."

Park City Board of Education President Andrew Caplan recently told KPCW that the incident “was definitely vandalism,” though he was unsure of the circumstances. Caplan said he believed social media comments around the repairs to the home’s driveway had escalated tensions within the district, resulting in the alleged vandalism.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.
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