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Karen Scullin reporting Sergeant Don Bell is a veteran detective at the Salt Lake City Police Department. He told Eyewitness News he watched Mayor Rocky Anderson's news conference this afternoon, and felt an independent commission isn't being called in because of the Smart case, but because the Mayor wants to personally discredit Sgt. Bell.
Sergeant Bell says the commission is based on an old vendetta Mayor Anderson has had against Bell for years. Bell told Eyewitness News, "I think he has singled me out for a long, long time."
Bell went on to point out he hasn't worked on the Smart case since September 3rd, long before Mary Katherine identified Brian Mitchell, or "Emmanuel", as the possible kidnapper.
The Mayor said today he also wants the commission to look into the old murder cases of Christine Gallegos, Lisa Strong, and Carla Maxwell. Bell says he was in charge of a task force that was developed to look into the murders several years after the crimes were committed.
Mayor Anderson, a private lawyer at the time, was also involved in the case, representing members of victims' families. Bell says he and Anderson locked horns in the case, and argued after Bell refused to allow Anderson to attend a meeting.
Because of that and other incidents, Bell says about the Mayor, "He hates me."
Bell also said he welcomes an investigation and said, "The mayor can set up all kinds of commissions. I don't mind."
It should be pointed out that Bell is widely respected in law enforcement circles, and successfully investigated several high-profile murder cases, including Arthur Gary Bishop, the man who killed five children in the 1980s, and Joseph Paul Franklin, the man who shot two men in Liberty Park, also in the early 1980s.
So basically, Bell says a commission will find that at least *he* did nothing wrong, and that he did everything he could to find Elizabeth, at least while he was on the case.