Councilman Accuses Colleagues of Hiding 9-1-1 Call Reports

Councilman Accuses Colleagues of Hiding 9-1-1 Call Reports

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- A city councilman is accusing local officials of withholding details about a mishandled 911 call that left a man dead.

Steve Turley said he has made several requests to see an Ogden Police Department investigation into the Oct. 1 death of Scott Ashton, 30, but city administrators have failed to disclose the documents.

A 911 operator misheard the cell phone call for help and dispatched rescue crews to an incorrect address. Aston's body was found four days later.

"My obligation to Provo's citizens is to find out if they are safe, if the 911 call center is functioning properly and if there are any changes that need to be made," Turley said. "Is there something wrong with Provo's call center? I just don't know. That's why I want to see the reports."

The Aston family and some media outlets have also requested access to the documents without success.

Provo spokeswoman Raylene Ireland said administrators have never refused to share the report with the City Council, but added they would only do so in a private session closed to the public.

"Let's present this to all the council or none of the council," Ireland said. "Let's not piecemeal this. This is not a 15-minute conversation, this is a 90-minute or two-hour conversation."

Despite Turley's interest, the other six council members implied in a joint statement with Mayor Lewis Billings this week they aren't interested in the reports.

"It is the majority position of the municipal council, along with the administration, that appropriate oversight and scrutiny (have) been given to this case to protect the interests as well as the safety of the residents of Provo," the statement reads.

Turley said Billings has expressed willingness to show him the reports since June 1 but so far failed to do so. He also said other council members have failed their constituents by not demanding access to the information.

The Astons filed a wrongful death claim against the city in May, but attorneys for the family said Thursday they haven't decided whether to go forward with it.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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