Many Residents Forgive Mayor for Bogus Kidnapping Story

Many Residents Forgive Mayor for Bogus Kidnapping Story

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EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah (AP) -- Most residents speaking at a City Council meeting were ready to forgive Mayor Kelvin Bailey for his fabricated story of having been kidnapped.

Bailey did not attend Tuesday's meeting.

Greg Kehl, mayor pro tem, said he spoke with Bailey on Tuesday and did not know when the mayor would start attending council meetings. He said the city was not pushing him for a quick return.

The council meeting drew a record crowd of nearly 200 people, and about three-fourths of the 30 who spoke expressed sympathy, understanding and compassion for Bailey.

"I support Mayor Bailey in whatever decision he makes at this point," said resident Dave Tomsick. "Selfishly, I hope he remains. I feel much better now in Eagle Mountain than I have since I moved here in 1999. It's far easier to complain than to say, 'Good job' or 'Thank you."'

"I support him. I think we all care about him as a person and individual," said Ruth Brandt . "I support the mayor in that he's a human being and is having problems. Maybe the best thing for him is to get some Prozac. I don't know, I'm not his psychologist. I think he does need some help."

Some felt Bailey should step down. Rick Pierce, a member of the city Planning Commission, said he wanted to go on record as offering a "no confidence vote" in Bailey's leadership abilities.

"If there's so much pressure in his life, I can no longer support him," he said. "What's to say he hasn't lied on public record before? Now I call into his question his integrity."

Jodi Hooley said Eagle Mountain needed a mayor who is in control and has a "clear view of the city.

"We must have someone that's able to deal with issues on a professional level," she said.

Bailey, 47, told his wife by phone Friday that on the way back from a hunting trip in Mona on Thursday, he stopped to help someone along Interstate 15, was carjacked and forced to drive 500 miles into southern California.

She contacted authorities and on Friday night Bailey told FBI agents and Utah County that he made up the story to explain leaving the area to get away from stress and challenges in his business and personal life.

The U.S. Attorney's Office decided not to press charges and the Utah County Attorney's Office is waiting for a sheriff's report before deciding whether Bailey should be charged.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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