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Judge upholds family guardianship of troubled county recorder

Judge upholds family guardianship of troubled county recorder

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

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WEST JORDAN — In a legal dispute between troubled Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott's family and his office aide and "longtime friend" Karmen Sanone, a judge on Friday declined Sanone's request to rescind the family's temporary guardianship of Ott.

Third District Judge Bruce Lubeck affirmed Friday that Ott's family will remain as his guardian, at least temporarily, as the court continues to weigh who will permanently be in charge of the recorder's care and financials.

During the hearing, the family attorney confirmed that Ott is currently residing in a medical facility under the advice of medical providers. Ott's independently appointed attorney said Sanone — who has been acting as Ott's caregiver — has been controlling Ott's finances since 2014.

Leading to Friday's hearing, Sanone objected to an emergency court order granting Ott's family custody of the county recorder, who has been the focus of widespread public concerns regarding his health and well-being, and whether he's actually been living in outside his elected district in Weber County with Sanone.

Sanone has been identified as Ott's girlfriend or fiancee in court documents, police reports and on social media.


Lubeck ruled the family and Sanone should try to settle the matter in mediation, outside of court.

Lubeck ruled in favor of the family despite Sanone's attorney arguing she should be appointed guardian and conservator, not the family, because in January 2015 Ott signed an advanced health care directive nominating her as a guardian in the event one is needed.

Lubeck also ordered a mental evaluation of Ott, prior to another court hearing on Sept. 6.

Ott's chief deputy, Julie Dole, also attended Friday's hearing.

Additional details will be posted throughout the day.


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Katie McKellar


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