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Salt Lake City department head fired after ‘offensive behavior’ related to sex and religion

(Leah Hogsten | Tribune file photo) Mayor Jackie Biskupski and master stone mason Jeff Eakle maneuver a lift into place to set the final capstone Ð in Eakle's likeness Ð in completion of the Salt Lake City and County Building rehabilitation project, Wednesday, June 13, 2018. The two-year rehabilitation restored the building's stone facade, repaired windows, and performed a seismic upgrade of the historic building built in 1894.

Salt Lake City has fired a top administrator in its information management services department following an investigation that found he had engaged in “offensive behavior” related to sex and religion and used inappropriate language.

Gregory Daly, the chief information officer in the Information Management Services department, was fired on Oct. 3 for violating the city’s standard of conduct, anti-discrimination and harassment policies, confirmed Matthew Rojas, a spokesman in the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office.

“The allegations made against Mr. Daly were thoroughly and appropriately investigated and found to have merit,” he said in a written statement. “These actions did not live up to the high standard Mayor Biskupski sets for members of her Cabinet so Mr. Daley was released from his duties.”

Attempts to reach Daly for comment were unsuccessful.

The 14-page investigative report, obtained through a public records request, commenced after a complaint was submitted on May 2 and completed in September. Investigators from the city’s human resources department interviewed 11 witnesses — some of whom were not offended by Daly’s conduct and others who were and described Daly as unprofessional.

The resulting investigation, first reported by The Deseret News, found Daly would share jokes and comments with sexual connotations, including one that was “very sexual and nasty in nature.” He also shared an “inappropriate” joke and/or meme with a colleague at least once a week via email or on his phone.

When asked what Daly believed the word meant he said, “nothing,” investigators reported. And he said he had no reason to believe the person he shared jokes or memes with was offended by the content.

The report concluded that when “combined with the fact that Daly uses inappropriate language in the workplace, it appears he frequently makes disrespectful comments and uses offensive language that, when viewed holistically as opposed to in isolation, rise to the level of a violation of the City’s Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy.”

That language included commenting on the physical appearance of both male and female employees, making “crude” and “rude” comments and yelling at employees. He would advise employees to be “tougher” when working with software vendors, telling them to “grow some balls.”

Daly was also “very derogatory” toward members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Utah’s predominant religion, witnesses told investigators, and would sometimes refer to a colleague as “Bishop.” Daly told interviewers he meant no disrespect by that term and meant it to express his view of him or her as an “authority” figure and good person.

But the report concluded that there was no evidence to support the allegation “that the remarks at issue are derogatory or that employees are treated differently based on their religious affiliation.”

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