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Heated exchange at ECC meeting gets revisited

Sun Advocate reporter

A heated debate between the East Carbon City Mayor, police chief and a resident that took place over two weeks ago was back up for discussion at the East Carbon City council meeting Tuesday night.

City Attorney Jeremy Humes reported back to the city council about his research regarding a complaint by a resident about East Carbon Police Chief Sam Leonard.

Wayne Sprague, an East Carbon resident, requested to the city council at a meeting on Oct. 12 that Leonard be put on administrative leave pending an investigation into an alleged confrontation the two had.

Sprague presented council members with a letter describing the alleged confrontation which included verbal threats and vulgar language which he says Leonard used on that day. Leonard was accompanying another resident to keep the peace on a visit to Sprague's property to pick up a truck.

During the meeting, the interactions between all three became heated. Sprague claimed that Leonard used profanity, intimidation, threats and was violating his constitutional and civil rights during their interaction on the day Leonard visited his property.

The back and forth exchange between all three men, lasted for 44 minutes. At one point Leonard was questioned about what officer would be on duty the following morning, but said he couldn't do anything because of Sprague's request for him going on administrative leave pending an investigation.

"I apologize for not being better prepared because I planned to bring a cheese platter to go along with all his whining," Leonard said. He then handed Sprague a piece of paper with phone numbers of the ACLU of Utah, Utah Police Academy and the Utah Attorney General's Office, telling Sprague if there was a problem to call them with his concerns.

After researching the issue, Humes said he found no criminal conduct occurred and no specific civil rights were violated. Humes said that it is up to Mayor Orlando LaFontaine if any action is to be taken on the issue. Any action taken by LaFontaine could range from doing nothing to a possible reprimand for breach of professionalism or possible expulsion. Any requests by the mayor would then be brought before the city council for a vote.

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