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A jury in Utah County deliberated for less than three hours today before finding the former mayor of Eagle Mountain not guilty of misusing public money.
The not guilty verdict seems to come down to this: Did a public official, in this case, the mayor of Eagle Mountain, pocket public money for his personal use? It was an argument prosecutors made that, in the end, the jury didn't buy.
Brian Olsen walked out of the courtroom a free man after nearly two years of fighting a criminal case against him, which began while he was the mayor of Eagle Mountain.
"The system does work, and Eagle Mountain is still a good place, and I wish those folks good luck, that things can work out there, as well. I have no hard feelings, and I'm moving on," Olsen said.
Olsen resigned after just 10 months in office, when the criminal investigation against him became public in October of 2006. Prosecutors tried to show that Olsen cashed travel reimbursement checks for trips on city business, but they were trips Olsen never made. In all, it added up to less than $1,500.
Prosecutors still defend their actions in bringing the seven felony charges against Olsen. Prosecutor Chad Grunander said, "We believed in the case or we never would have brought it. I think at the end of the day, it come down to probably the amount of money involved, it wasn't that egregious, but the legislature has made it quite clear that regardless of amount of money, if it involves public money and a public official, it's still a felony."
In the end, jurors found there was no evidence Olsen had any criminal intent of stealing public money.
Defense attorney Ron Yengich, said, "I believe the case that was tried, was tried honorably by the prosecutors. In this case we won, and I think we should have won, and we can leave it at that."
The trial ends Olsen's legal case. He now appears to be moving on from his time in politics in Eagle Mountain.