No plans to fill Provo City Council vacancy

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Steve Turley’s resignation Sept. 27 left the Provo City Council without a representative for City-Wide District II.

Apparently there are no plans in motion to replace him.

When asked for comment, neither the Provo mayor’s office nor the City Council’s office were able to provide any plans to replace Turley. Representatives from both offices pointed to upcoming meetings of the City Council to determine whether the vacancy would be filled before the next election cycle.

According to the Utah Election Code, “…if any vacancy occurs in the office of municipal executive or member of a municipal legislative body, the municipal legislative body shall appoint a registered voter in the municipality who meets the qualifications for office … to fill the unexpired term of the office vacated until the January following the next municipal election.”

However, as Turley had just two months left in his term, it is unclear if council members will feel the need to replace Turley themselves or leave it to the next election.

While the vacancy does not impede the council from meeting and conducting city business, Provo residents are left to wonder if a change will be made.

Provo city resident Sam McKnight regularly attends City Council meetings. Although he is familiar with council proceedings, McKnight said he was without an answer for the current situation.

“I don’t know if they are allowed to fill that position since he has resigned,” McKnight said. “I imagine they can if they want to, but I don’t know.”

The investigation into Turley’s actions while on the council, and his resulting resignation, sent shock waves through the state.

Utah legislators are looking at current laws to see where they can be strengthened. Specifically, they are looking at a key part of the Utah Municipal Employees and Officials Act Turley used to defend his actions while on the council. Currently, it is not against the ethics code in the state of Utah for a public official to lie to achieve personal gain.

While Turley may be out of the spotlight for the time being, he faces 10 felony charges ranging from communications fraud to exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

Prosecutors said Turley acted criminally while conducting real estate deals, where he may have defrauded a senior and another individual with a mental disability.

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