Mormon Mayor Stripped of Power After Baring Affair, Refusing to Resign

Friday, 21 Dec 2012 10:35 AM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The highly-conservative Mormon stronghold of Brigham City has voted to strip its mayor of his powers after he confessed to having an extramarital affair — a punishment apparently meted out for his refusing to resign.

Dennis Fife will no longer have the power to hire, fire, supervise, or discipline city employees,  The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

In essence, Fife is now a lame duck and most of his duties will be assumed by Mayor Pro Tem Tyler Vincent.

Earlier this month, Fife — a veteran Air Force pilot and Mormon leader — stunned the community by admitting he had carried on an affair with a woman he had once counseled when he served as a bishop in The Church of the Latter-day Saints.

“I am not assigning blame to her, but the confidential relationship that had developed during my counseling time with her as a Bishop continued,’’ Fife, 67, wrote in a confession letter to the public.

“I am guilty of indiscretions that occurred during this continuation period . . . As your mayor, I am asking for your forgiveness and understanding. I have the support of my wife and I am asking for your support as I continue to serve as your mayor.”

Some members of the Brigham City Council wanted his immediate resignation, but Fife insisted he would stay put.

Councilwoman Ruth Jensen told the Tribune earlier this month: “Even with this confession, people might forgive, but they won’t forget. As a leader of our town, I don’t see how he can get over it.’’

At the Thursday meeting at which Fife was stripped of his powers, a number of residents ripped into him, saying he had tarnished the city’s image.

“As long as Mayor Fife remains in that chair, he is going to be a lightning rod for continued bad-mouthing of the city,’’ one speaker Suresh Kulkarni told the City Council, according to the Tribune.

“We have no idea how many more bombshells, lawsuits or whatever else might be coming at us.”

Fife, who has been married for 40 years and is the father of six children and 18 grand children, wants to remain in office until December 2013, when his term expires.

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