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PROVO — Provo’s deputy mayor said the city likely would not have hired its outgoing police chief — who resigned after allegations of sexual misconduct in March — had officials known of a previous incident reported from a job he held in Baltimore’s police force.
King was forced to resign from the Baltimore Police Department in 2012 after a female colleague accused him of groping her in a patrol car, according to a Salt Lake Tribune report Tuesday. That incident led to a $24,000 settlement between the city and the accuser.
King was asked to resign as Provo’s police chief in March after allegations of sexual misconduct arose. A woman claimed King sexually assaulted her on different occasions in January, though King was never arrested or charged in the case. King said the two had consensual sex four times.
Provo Deputy Mayor Corey Norman said Wednesday an independent recruiting firm was used in the 2013 police chief hiring process, including background checks.
King also didn’t disclose the settlement in the hiring process, Norman added.
“Had we known that and had that been disclosed, that would have changed the paradigm very quickly,” he said, in an interview with KSL Newsradio.
Provo is still in the process of hiring a new police chief, while Capt. Rich Ferguson serves as interim chief. Norman said the city is using a different recruiting firm this time around.
“The ship is steady right now, so we’re not concerned that we’d have to go out and go hire someone immediately,” he said. “We’re taking our time and making sure we get this right."
Contributing: Amanda Dickson and Brian Martin