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SANDY — Sandy Police Chief Kevin Thacker was fired Tuesday after an investigation into multiple reports of “inappropriate and unprofessional behavior” within the police department, Sandy Mayor Kurt Bradburn said.
The decision came a little more than three weeks after Thacker was placed on leave while an independent firm investigated claims of sexual misconduct brought forward by multiple employees to the city’s human resources department.
“We recently received the findings of the investigation and discovered there were multiple collaborating individuals who witnessed Chief Thacker engaged in inappropriate touching and unprofessional conduct with employees,” Bradburn said during a press conference held at the Sandy City Council building. “The report determined that this behavior led to a negative working environment in the police department.”
Sandy Deputy Police Chief William O’Neal, who was named acting police chief when Thacker was placed on leave, will remain in that position until a new chief is found.
Thacker was placed on leave April 2 while the city conducted an internal investigation. Sandy police announced the investigation two days later, but declined to explain the reason of the investigation at the time.
On Tuesday, Bradburn explained Thacker had been warned about misconduct after multiple reports in the past and he decided to terminate Thacker’s contract because “this conduct has not stopped.”
Thacker had not been previously disciplined after prior claims were reported, Bradburn said.
“By swiftly dealing with this issue, I hope we have upheld public trust and sent the message that this behavior won’t be tolerated by my administration,” he added.
No other police officials were under investigation.
Thacker was promoted from patrol officer to detective in the early 1990s prior to being named chief in 2014.
The Sandy Police Department has more than 100 sworn officers and more than 30 civilian employees, according to its website. Bradburn said the city plans to conduct a nationwide search for its new police chief.