LOGAN – On the eve of the Cache County Republican Nominating Convention, 15 incumbent office holders and local candidates for office have issued a statement condemning the hostile work environment in the Cache County Government.

In a letter accompanying that statement, Micah Safsten, a policy analyst for the Cache County Council, explained that those office holders and hopefuls are calling for “…increased civility, better treatment of employees and a more cordial relationship between fellow office holders in Cache County.

“They are united in the belief that Cache County must be a place where all can disagree in a positive, uplifting way,” he added.

“We are concerned over reports of Cache County employees being threatened, silenced and intimidated into carrying out unethical or unapproved practices by elected officials and candidates for elected office,” according to the attached statement.

“Any attempt to harass or threaten county employees is intolerable and we are committed to holding ourselves to the same standard that we would hold our own employees to.”

The signatories to that statement include Utah Rep. Dan Johnson (R-Dist. 3); Sen. Chris Wilson (R-Dist. 2); Cache County council members David Erickson, Karl Ward, Kathryn Beus and Sandi Goodlander; Cache County Executive David Zook; Taylor Sorensen, Interim Cache County Attorney; Patrick Belmont, Democratic candidate for House District 3; Paul Borup and Jason Thompson, GOP candidates for House District 3; Bryson Behm and Dirk Anderson, candidates for County Clerk/Auditor; and Matthew Funk and Dianna Schaeffer, candidates for Cache County Auditor.

The statement is an obvious response to charges of alleged threats, intimidation, hostility and retaliation made public on Mar. 26 by Terryl Warner, the county’s director of its Office of Victim Advocacy.

Warner charged that she had received threatening e-mails from Cameron Cox, a public defender who is running for county attorney in the GOP Nominating Convention on April 13.

Cox has since denied Warner’s accusations in a radio interview on KVNU’s “For the People” program with host Jason Williams.

Warner also cited county employees who had been forced to sign non-disclosure agreements and been threatened with lawsuits, accusations that were confirmed by a state audit of the Cache County government in July of 2023 by the Utah Office of Victims of Crime.

The statement’s signatories took pains to emphasize that it should not be considered as an endorsement of any particular candidate.

“It is also not an endorsement of the manner in which particular allegations have been addressed,” they wrote, “or a statement about what the proper response should be.

“Rather, it is a call for all elected officials and candidates for office in Cache County to hold each other, their employees and our neighbors in the highest regard.”

Safsten said that the statement, entitled “Improving Civil Discourse in Cache County,” was his own idea.

“My hope is that all the people of Cache County have the opportunity to see that their elected leaders do want to improve the relationships they have with each other,” he explained, “and create an environment where the employees of the county can do the work of the county with fear of harassment or mistreatment.”

Safsten said that other officials and candidates wanting to sign onto the statement can contact him with a message containing their full names and city/town of residence at micah.safsten@gmail.com

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