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Wasatch County Sheriff delays resignation amid background review

Wasatch County Sheriff Jared Rigby
Wasatch County Sheriff Jared Rigby

Wasatch County Sheriff Justin Rigby’s appointment to a new state job has hit a delay.

This week, Wasatch County expected to lose its sheriff to Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.), which oversees statewide law enforcement training, certifications and internal investigations. That’s on hold now after P.O.S.T. extended an investigation into his background.

Sheriff Jared Rigby told KPCW he would take over as director of P.O.S.T. Monday morning after a swearing-in ceremony.

In advance of that, Rigby submitted his letter of resignation to the Wasatch County Council. Then two days later, Rigby sent a new letter, rescinding his resignation.

The Utah Department of Public Safety oversees P.O.S.T. Communications Director Hillary Koellner said Rigby could still take the new role, but he wouldn’t start until the department finishes his background review.

Koellner declined to explain the need for extra time, saying only that there were multiple factors. She said the confirmation won’t move forward until her agency receives notice from the governor’s office, which could happen as early as this week.

She said Rigby’s background investigation, but not the last-minute delay, is standard for new hires.

“We didn't anticipate that being extended,” she said.

Rigby was elected to a second four-year term as Wasatch County Sheriff in November. If he doesn’t end up in the new job, Wasatch County Manager Dustin Grabau said his job in Wasatch County is probably safe.

“I think it’s unlikely that P.O.S.T. investigation will find anything,” Grabau said. “I think if they did, it would have to rise to the level of making him no longer eligible to receive his P.O.S.T. certification, or it would have to be something else. I honestly don’t know that anyone other than the sheriff has an ability to impact how he wants to serve his role. I think he still has the support of the Wasatch County Council, and I would be surprised to see that change.”

This is a developing story. KPCW will provide updates as more information becomes available.

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