Monday , September 18, 2017 - 5:15 AM
A separation-of-powers conflict is brewing between some Utah sheriffs and county governments. Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, says commissions are meddling in sheriff’s operations and he wants to change state laws to strengthen sheriffs’ autonomy.
Here are existing key provisions of the Utah Code that specify powers and duties of elected county sheriffs, commissioners and auditors.
Preserve the peace
Make all lawful arrests
Provide court security and inmate transportation to and from court appearances
Take charge of and keep the county jail and the jail prisoners
Serve all process and notices as prescribed by law
Manage search and rescue services in his county
Provide law enforcement service as provided in any inter-local agreements
May generally direct and supervise all elected county officers and employees to ensure compliance with general county administrative ordinances, rules, or policies
May not direct or supervise other elected county officers or their sworn deputies with respect to the performance of the professional duties of the officers or deputies
May examine and audit the accounts of all county officers having the care, management, collection, or distribution of money belonging to the county, appropriated to the county, or otherwise available for the county's use and benefit
May investigate any matter pertaining to a county officer or to the county or its business or affairs, and may require the attendance of witnesses and take evidence in any such investigation.
Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit the county executive or county legislative body from initiating an action for removal or prosecution of an elected county officer as provided by statute.
A county auditor shall, under the direction and supervision of the county legislative body or county executive (commissioners) provide performance audit services for a county office, department, division, or other county entity.
A performance audit may include a review and audit of the following:
The honesty and integrity of financial and other affairs
The accuracy and reliability of financial and management reports
The adequacy of financial controls to safeguard public funds
Management and staff adherence to statute, ordinance, policies, and legislative intent
The economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of operational performance
The accomplishment of intended objectives
Whether management, financial, and information systems are adequate and effective
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