Amelia Powers Gardner wins Utah County Commissioner seat

She had to undergo sexual harassment training last year because of her alleged treatment of a gay employee.

(Photo courtesy of Amelia Powers Gardner) Utah County Clerk/Auditor Amelia Powers Gardner will replace Tanner Ainge on the Utah County Commission.

Utah County Clerk/Auditor Amelia Powers Gardner will be the first woman to hold the title of Utah County Commissioner, the Utah County Republican Party announced Saturday.

She will replace former commissioner Tanner Ainge, who vacated his position in March. Gardner, who was one of nine candidates in the running, has criticized previous members of the commission for approving a tax hike two years ago.

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson congratulated Gardner on Twitter after the election results were announced.

Gardner had to complete sexual harassment training last year after she allegedly threw her keys and purse at a former employee and told him he was “great for being a gay democrat.” Other employees confirmed her inappropriate behavior, according to an investigation by the county attorney’s office.

The employee did not leave his position because of Gardner’s behavior and said he wanted the case closed, according to the report.

Gardener said in a statement earlier this month that a “conflict” arose late last year with an employee she considers to be a personal friend because of a miscommunication. She suggested the attorney’s office’s investigation was politically motivated because of her bid for the commission seat.

“I regretted my part in the conflict with such a valued friend and am committed to improve moving forward,” Powers Gardner said. “HR made some recommendations, which we gladly followed, and everyone involved believed the matter was resolved and closed.”