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Murray mayor fires police chief, says it's time for a change

Published February 23, 2014 11:12 am

Police • New mayor says time for a change in department.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Murray's newest mayor, Ted Eyre, has fired the city's police chief, saying it is time for a change.

Eyre said Peter Fondaco is not being replaced due to any wrongdoing but to give other up-and-coming officers in the department the opportunity to advance.

"He was the chief for almost 12 years, and I just thought after a long and distinguished career we need a change and needed to put a new face on the department," Eyre said. "We have some very talented people in the department, and we'll be looking internally to see if they have that opportunity to serve in that position."

Fondaco was unavailable for comment Saturday. Eyre was elected the city's mayor in November after longtime Mayor Dan Snarr stepped down.

Murray Assistant Police Chief Craig Burnett will act as the department's interim chief until a replacement is found.

Fondaco, 61, has been with the Murray Police Department for 35 years. He was promoted to sergeant in 1984 and became a lieutenant in 1993, according to a biography on the Murray Police Department's website. Fondaco was responsible for both the patrol and detective divisions before becoming chief in 2002. He is scheduled to retire, and his last day will be Friday, Eyre said.

"Chief Fondaco is a very profesional individual," Eyre said about how the chief reacted to the news early last week. "He realizes his position, along with any executive position, is at-will. He knows that comes with the position he held."

The Murray Police Department had 89 employees in 2012, which includes 76 full-time officers, according to the latest statistics from the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification.

The city had a crime rate of 52.19 incidents per 1,000 people in 2012, down from 68.36 per 1,000 the year before, according to BCI's annual Crime in Utah Report.

vince@sltrib.com