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The resignation of Provo Police Chief John King this week was requested by the city's mayor, the deputy mayor said, after a sexual assault accusation was levied against King in February.
King on Tuesday said he was departing due to out-of-state, family health issues. While the family issues were present, his immediate resignation was due to Provo Mayor John Curtis learning more details about a recent sexual assault investigation into King, Deputy Mayor Corey Norman said Wednesday evening.
Curtis asked King for his resignation Monday morning, and King agreed to resign "immediately," Norman said.
The mayor was expected to provide more details on the situation at a Thursday morning news conference. A Provo phone number listed for King was disconnected.
Norman said a woman called Curtis in early February to make the sexual assault allegations. City officials reported the allegations to the Utah County attorney's office, which forwarded them to Salt Lake County law enforcement officials to avoid a conflict of interest.
The Salt Lake County district attorney's office did not pursue charges. But after learning more details of the investigation in recent days, "we didn't feel comfortable for him to continue on as chief," Norman said.
On Tuesday, King told The Salt Lake Tribune and other news outlets that he was departing to be with his mother, who is dealing with health issues in the Baltimore area. He wrote a brief resignation letter to "All Provo Police Staff," saying his three-year-plus stint as chief had been "the best professional experience of my career." Curtis did not comment on the resignation Tuesday.
King had been on a short leave of absence to be with his family on the East Coast about the time the allegations were made, Norman said. Once the investigation began, the mayor called King and asked him to extend his leave.
Norman said that initially, city officials were told King was not going to be charged, and he was taken off administrative leave.
But later, more details of the investigation were made available to Curtis, Norman said, and the mayor was "uncomfortable" with those details.
Curtis requested King's resignation "pretty much as soon as he possibly could," Norman said.
Several chiefs have traveled through Provo in recent years.
King, who has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement, was director of the police academy in Hagerstown, Md., and before that was police chief in Gaithersburg, Md. Gregory also cited family issues when he resigned after two years. He took over for former Police Chief Rick Gregory in November 2013. Gregory replaced Dave Bolda in 2011, who served as interim chief for six months. Before that, Craig Geslison retired just as an external investigation began into his department after accusations of misconduct involving three ex-officers.
King was expected to leave Provo on Thursday morning.
"We were comfortable with him just leaving town," Norman said.