By Jacob Crosby
The Utah County Republican Party has asked Utah County Commissioner David Gardner to resign.
In an official statement given Monday, the party said Gardner has had “a pattern of personal behavior unbecoming an elected official.”
Gardner stands trial Tuesday, Oct. 24, for disorderly conduct charges.
The charges stem from a July 29 incident where Gardner allegedly yelled at and poked a 9-year-old neighborhood boy over a disagreement about a broken flashlight.
Gardner has had other legal difficulties, including an arrest for DUI on Oct. 18, and another arrest for drunk driving last March.
“The past 20 months have been extremely difficult and challenging,” the statement said.
“By stepping down from office, he can remove his family from the spotlight of the public eye, get the professional help he needs and county government can move forward in a positive manner.”
The party has no legal power to remove Gardner from office, but party leaders hope a timely resignation will help to restore the public trust.
“Republicans expect elected officials to be examples to all citizens including our youth,” the statement said.
Utah County Commissioner Gary Herbert said Gardner has been a good commissioner.
“Commissioner Gardner has historically made good decisions for the citizens of Utah County,” Herbert said. “I just hope he gets the help he needs.”
Herbert said Gardner will have to determine whether he can continue to address his problems under the scrutiny of public life.
Gardner did not return phone calls from NewsNet.
“I am concerned about him as a person,” Herbert said.
The party is also concerned about the Gardner family.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the Gardner family,” the statement said.
“We have great compassion for David, Marlynn and their children, and hope they will look back on his many successes in office rather than these personal issues.”
Gardner was first elected to the Utah County Commission in 1994 and was re-elected to the position in 1998.