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Brigham City mayor escapes another call to resign

Published February 21, 2013 10:28 pm

Scandal • Council doesn't support nonbinding resolution urging Fife to quit.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Brigham City • In December, Mayor Dennis Fife rocked this small conservative city with a written confession of an extramarital affair he had with a woman he formerly counseled as an LDS bishop.

A few weeks later, City Council members voted to trim his powers by removing any oversight over the hiring, firing and discipline of city employees.

Tuesday night, two council members — Brian Rex and Ruth Jensen — introduced a nonbinding resolution seeking Fife's immediate resignation.

The resolution failed to pass with council members Scott Ericson and Tyler Vincent abstaining, and Councilman Mark Thompson voting no.

"After the shock of his admission wore off, we asked the mayor to resign," Rex said of actions he and Jensen took in private late last year. "Our feelings have not changed."

Ericson, however, called the resolution inappropriate, saying "it should be an embarrassment to all of us."

"I still feel the mayor should resign, but I am going to abstain," Ericson said, "because I feel like the council and the mayor have been childish."

Vincent, who is currently serving as mayor pro tem, said he also believes Fife should resign but chose to abstain in order to "move the city forward."

"I'm deeply concerned that we continue to bring this up," Vincent said.

Fife, who was excommunicated from the Mormon church because of the affair, sought the forgiveness and continued support of residents when he first disclosed the affair in writing.

Fife remains resolved to finish his first term in office. He comes up for re-election this November.

Following the failed vote, several residents came forward to speak for or against Fife.

"I don't care who you take to bed but I care what you do to our city," Bonnie Germer told him. "I like you. I think you're a good guy. But you've got projects I can't afford to pay for."

David Richardson voiced support for Fife, saying, "I think he's done a good job, and I think forgiving and forgetting is a good part of life."

After the meeting, Rex said that no more would be done to try to force the mayor out. Fife said he plans to stay put.

cmckitrick@sltrib.com

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