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Lehi Police Cover-ups

City prosecutor alleges police chief helps his friends.

By Eric S. Peterson
Photo by John Taylor // Lehi city prosecutor Dave Clark
Posted // May 18,2010 - Lehi City Prosecutor Dave Clark says that his boss recently told him that the occasional cover-up of a crime by the Lehi City Police Department is not that big of a deal.

These crimes were not simple parking tickets, however. Clark was complaining about cover-ups of a hit-and-run, theft and driving under the influence. He also says that twice, the police pressured him to bring charges against innocent people.

“On Oct. 15, 2009, I went to the city administrator and said, ‘Goddamn it, Jamie [Davidson], I’ve got another cover-up here. Not only is it wrong, it’s probably illegal.” Clark says this was not the first time he approached his superiors about the problems, yet there never have been any serious consequences for Lehi Police Chief Chad Smith. In fact, Clark says that the city reappointed Smith “and gave him a raise [to] $155,000 per year, after they knew all about this.” (Representatives at Lehi City Police Department declined to comment for this story.)

Clark’s recall of cover-ups dates back to October 2005, when Clark was briefed about a DUI incident in which the person was reported to have marijuana in his system and a blood alcohol level of .09. When Clark spoke to a police lieutenant about filing charges, he was told, “The chief says no.”

Clark says he was told the driver had suffered mental injuries and therefore shouldn’t be charged, yet when Clark investigated these injuries, he discovered, from the driver’s spouse, that his injuries did not explain the behavior. In a letter Clark drafted and submitted to the Utah State Auditor in 2009, he writes that after asking the wife of the driver about the incident, she asked Clark: “Why are you bringing a charge in this case? [Police Chief] Chad Smith said that nothing was going to happen.” Clark was eventually able to file charges, and when he did so, he discovered that the person had been charged with a prior DUI in 2004. Given that history, Clark notes in his letter to the auditor that “had this case gone uncharged, any subsequent DUI could only have been charged as a Class B misdemeanor, rather than as a third degree felony, thereby giving the justice system authority to incarcerate the defendant for only six months, rather than a maximum of 5 years.”

After the 2005 case, Clark let the issue drop when superiors told him that the city was re-evaluating policies on communicating cases between the prosecutor’s office and the police department. But soon after, Clark heard of a drunk-and-disorderly report in 2006 that was not filed with his office since the perpetrator was alleged to be an acquaintance of the chief.

In 2007, Clark says, the police pressured him to bring charges against two innocent men. Ultimately, it was two more cases of unfiled reports that eventually pushed Clark to take the matter to the offices of the state auditor and the Utah attorney general, as well as approach local media. In 2008, Clark found out about a case of an unchallenged hit-and-run—a hay baler struck a power pole, which damaged a home, but the driver fled. The homeowner complained to Clark that the case had yet to be resolved.

When Clark investigated, he discovered that the police had given a report to the homeowner but omitted a statement from a witness, who described seeing the driver crash into the power pole and the resulting eruption of sparks and flames that looked like “a bunch of fireworks going off.” More importantly, the witness saw the driver stop momentarily after causing the accident before quickly leaving the scene.

Clark also discovered that the incident was never reported to his office, because, Clark says the person who caused the accident knew the right people in the police department.

In August 2009, Clark found out about a theft case only after the frustrated victim approached him to find out why nothing had happened about the theft of $400 worth of gravel taken from his property. In the police report—which Clark did not receive until after he had heard about the case directly from the victim—the alleged thief even admitted to police that he took the gravel without the owner’s permission.

It was after this point that Clark complained to Lehi City Administrator Davidson, when he says Davidson told him that Lehi, while a growing city, still had a “small-town” philosophy when it came to handling certain cases. In his letter of complaint to the state auditor’s office, Clark writes that Davidson told him “one cover-up a year just isn’t worth worrying about, so don’t worry about it.”

Davidson says he is aware of the charges made by Clark but says that he can’t comment on the allegations since it’s now part of an ongoing state investigation except to vouch for the local police department. “They are men and women of competence who operate with integrity, and we will await what the attorney general’s report has to say,” Davidson says. While Davidson is specifically named in Clark’s complaint, he says he doesn’t recall any specifics with clarity.

“He’s identified what appears to be four or five particular incidents over 50,000 case filings over a number of years,” Davidson says. “It’s difficult to remember every single conversation about filings within the court system.”

Clark does remember, especially since he took notes about each incident that he’s now handed over to the authorities. As he writes in the conclusion of his letter to the state auditor’s office: “I have serious concerns about the well-being and safety of the citizens of Lehi City. I don’t know if this is the whole iceberg or just the tip of it, but the results of an ongoing problem like this are, needless to say, as potentially serious and disastrous as a mid-air collision.”

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Posted // October 31,2012 at 14:13



Posted // October 10,2010 at 14:22

Dave and Mrs Dave,

I for one am elated LEHI was found innocent regarding your accusations.

However I am not pleased that you two pussies have stayed hidden.

Dave Clark, RESIGN! You are pathetic and this action you have taken is shameful.

MRS DAVE CLARK, (dave miner) you can at least acknowledge that you took part in an unethical witch hunt.

Just like any puss you say it was likley to get swept under the rug. Whatever you arrogant puss. Like a typical coward you do the hit and run. Where are you two parts of a shit?

You were calling for accountabitlity from the police force. The police were found not guilty.

I am calling for accoutability for you two. Go stand before the man, heels locked, and at least ask forgiveness for your sins.


Posted // October 11,2010 at 10:23 - Interesting... I didn't know that Lehi City Police Dept was found, "innocent".... Rather, the way I heard it was that the Attorney General's office had decided not to pursue criminal charges. This doesn't mean they're hands are clean, it simply means the AG's office isn't willing to risk the bad publicity over this one, one that any citizen would have been locked up for but police and officials can maneuver around. It's a sad commentary on liberty and justice when a prosecutor can find illegal behavior, document it, deliver it and have it fall on deaf ears. No, Dave and I am not the spineless ones in this case. You are, you and your ilk that float around in the shadows using aliases in stead of your own name. We are completely willing to do our work in the light of day while you and yours are only willing to do your works in darkness. The people of Lehi have decided on this one and they see Dave as a hero, the only person in their city willing to look out for their best interests and protect them when those sworn to protect them are the ones making up the rules and applying them at will as they go along. I will always do my works in the light of day, regardless of the expediency of political correctness and the good old boys club. Now, I have given you my name, my phone number and told you where I live. I doubt you have the guts to reveal yourself... because your someone who does his works in darkness.


Posted // June 30,2010 at 11:02

Utah AG's office finds no cover-ups by the Lehi PD occurred. Hmmm. No surprise. I don't know Chief Smith, but I do know Dave Clark. Dave Clark doesn't know what he is doing, and has tried to take everyone down before. CYA whistle blowing didn't get you far now did it Dave?


Posted // June 28,2010 at 16:02

Well it here. Where are you two whiney dorks? Face the music time. I am waiting....


Have you both run away?


Posted // July 9,2010 at 20:27 - It is true, the prosecutor is expected to prosecute, have moral values, ethics and good judgement. Dave has failed.


Posted // June 30,2010 at 18:06 - Well, it was likely from the beginning this would be brushed under the carpet just as it had been for the past five years. No surprises here. But when you are the prosecutor and you need to keep everyone in check, including the dope attics put in charge of the pharmacy, it is an up hill battle. I also find it interesting that the D.A. didn't mention the fact that the DUI incident involved Marijuana and a blood alcohol limit several times over the legal limit and still the police chief chose to burry it. Oh, that's right... if the D.A. mentioned that they wouldn't be putting the issue to rest and the citizens would have a real problem with that. Well, the next time someone gets caught with pot and falling down drunk rolling their SUV over several times in the median strip I guess it's all good!


Posted // May 22,2010 at 07:41

Well this surprises people we all know cops are amongst the most corrupt people in the world. We just put them on a payroll and pay them to make decisions to society.




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