The calls for Utah County Commissioner Greg Graves to resign continue to build.
During Tuesday morning’s commission meeting, the advocacy group Alliance for a Better Utah plans to deliver its petition of nearly 350 signatures asking for Graves to step down.
Calls for Graves’ resignation came after the release of a complaint by Utah County in early December regarding a former employee and included accusations of sexual harassment. Graves made sexually suggestive comments to the employee and rubbed her leg above the knee, according to the complaint.
“This behavior has no place in any work environment, let alone coming from an elected official,” the petition reads. “Commissioner Graves should immediately resign from office.”
The group hopes its petition will show Graves that not only are other elected county leaders asking him to resign, but a number of those he represents are as well, said Katie Matheson, communications director for Alliance for a Better Utah.
“We’re trying to lift up the voices of constituents and other Utahns that are really concerned with this kind of behavior in their elected officials, and this kind of behavior from those in positions of power,” Matheson told City Weekly on Monday. “It’s very important to us that these voices take a stand together and say, ‘This is not what Utah stands for, this not acceptable behavior and this is not in any way, shape or form a demonstration of Utah values.”
The Utah County Republican Party as well as the other two Utah County commissioners also asked Graves to resign. As of Monday afternoon, Alliance for a Better Utah’s petition had 343 signatures.
The former employee’s complaint wasn’t the first time Graves was accused of inappropriate workplace behavior, according to a story in The Salt Lake Tribune. Graves was investigated and placed on leave following an altercation in 2012 with a female student at Alta High School while he served as an adviser for the school’s business and marketing club, according to documents detailed in the report.
Other incidents date back to 2001 when Graves was charged with theft by deception, a class B misdemeanor, while working at Target. The charge was later dismissed permanently.
Graves did not respond Monday to a request for comment.
Alliance for a Better Utah plans to leave its petition up as long as possible and hopes to gather 500 signatures.
“The voice of the constituents should be most important to him since they are the one he serves,” Matheson said. “The longer he maintains he won’t be stepping down, I imagine that more and more people are going to be adding their voices to this the longer he holds on.”