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Commissioners to examine Sheriff Cordova's resident status

By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

On Wednesday evening the Carbon County Commissioners will review information concerning whether County Sheriff James Cordova has vacated his office.

The commission has been looking into allegations that the sheriff has been living in St. George, where he bought a house last winter, full time and is only spending part of his time in the county directing the department's activities.

The main question that is before them, according to their agenda for Wednesday's meeting is where Sheriff Cordova's principal place of residence is.

Earlier this year an investigation began after information emerged that the sheriff had been allegedly using a county vehicle and trailer to move his personal belongings to the new St. George home.

There is also some question about who paid for the fuel for that vehicle on trips between Price and Washington County during the move. While the county did their own investigation into the allegations, the case has now been turned over to the Utah State Attorney General's office.

The commission cannot deal with those allegations, but the question of whether the sheriff is still in residence in Carbon County is what they can take up based on Utah Code 17-16-1, eligibility and residency requirements for county, district, precinct, or prosecution district office.

Under that statute a county, district, precinct, or prosecution district officer shall maintain residency within the county, district, precinct, or prosecution district in which the officer was elected during the officer's term of office. If a county, district, precinct, or prosecution district officer establishes the officer's principal place of residence outside the county, district, precinct, or prosecution district in which the officer was elected, the office is automatically vacant.

Cordova has been the sheriff in the county for 16 years. Last spring, when filings were made for county offices, he did not file his candidacy. Consequently three candidates are running for the office and will be on the ballot on Nov. 4 with the successful candidate taking control of the Sheriff's office at the start of the New Year.




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