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SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County Republican Party is investigating the top deputy of outgoing Recorder Gary Ott.
The party made the announcement late Friday, a day after its executive committee voted to launch the probe. Ott's health issues have played out in public for over a year, and on Friday a judge cleared the way for his resignation Aug. 1.
"The circumstances surrounding Mr. Ott's retirement give the party cause for great concern, including the allegations directed at his Chief Deputy Julie Dole," the party said in a statement.
Dole is interested in succeeding Ott and said by phone Friday that the probe "feels like a political ploy."
"I welcome any investigation. I've done nothing wrong," Dole said. "The hardest part for me is to continue to be accused," she continued, adding she believes she will be cleared of any wrongdoing in this investigation and another one being conducted by Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.
The county's investigation has no bearing on her current appointment; it could affect her planned bid to be the next recorder.
Salt Lake County GOP Chairman Jake Parkinson declined to comment beyond the statement, which acknowledged that political parties have little influence over appointed officials.
Even so, the party's executive committee decided Thursday it would conduct the probe to determine whether it will further discipline Dole after its censure of her in October.
Dole said she believes the sanction handed down last year was a publicity stunt meant to embarrass her; the party said it was necessary, alleging she had made false statements to hide Ott's health issues.
Dole was not at the Thursday meeting because she was visiting family and attending a high school reunion in New York State, she said.
Dole is a member of the executive committee. She does not have power to vote on potential discipline against her.
Dole stressed that her relationship with Ott was confined to the job and said she didn't manipulate him
"He's my boss. I was told to run the office. I ran the office. I did a good job," Dole said. "It's frustrating because I work really hard."
The investigation started immediately, the party said in its statement. Its next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 10.