Orem Mayor under investigation for misuse of personal retirement funds

Aug 1, 2019, 5:17 PM | Updated: 9:13 pm
Photo courtesy City of Orem
OREM — Orem City Mayor Richard Brunst is being investigated for the misuse of personal retirement funds.

In a statement, the Orem City Council says Mayor Brunst altered dates and made unauthorized withdrawals from his retirement account. The statement also indicates that Brunst is suspected of submitted multiple reimbursement requests for the same expense.

Deputy City Manager Steven Downs says it’s not city money Brunst had access to.

“These are forms that anybody would use to withdraw from their own retirement account,” says Downs. “He was using those forms that the alteration of dates took place. They were associated, again, with his signature and the signature of other city employees.”

“I will reiterate that it wasn’t City money he was accessing,” says Downs, “it was his personal money he was accessing.”

Downs says the discrepancies were discovered by people employed by the city.

“As of right now, there’s no action being taken,” Downs says. “After this investigation, the [City Council] will review all the facts, once that’s complete, and determine the best course of action.”

Downs says the investigation has been ongoing for the last couple of months.

Mayor Brunst also reiterated it was his own money affected in this case.

“It’s really a mistake of convenience and just not paying a lot of attention to the form,” says Brunst. “I should not have done that.”

Brunst says he did not change the signature on the form, just the dates.

The city says there’s a limit on how many times you can withdraw from the retirement account; Brunst says he didn’t know there was a limit from the City and that there was no criminal intent.

“I am a very busy Mayor, and I just didn’t give it the attention I should have,” says Brunst. “For that, I’m at fault. I apologize to the citizens of Orem. I expect better behavior out of myself. The wrongdoing is mine. But there was no intent to do anything wrong.”

Orem City Council says this behavior dates back as early as 2017. The investigation has been forwarded to the Orem Police Department.

Councilman Tom Macdonald says the council is looking forward to the conclusion of the investigation so they can get back to the business of running a city.

A full copy of Mayor Brunst’s apology can be found here: Mayor Brunst Apology

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Kaylee Goncalves, Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle and Madison Mogen were killed Sunday, November 13, 20...
Amir Vera and Hannah Sarisohn, CNN

Idaho authorities continue to investigate whether one of the slain university students had a stalker, police say

3 weeks after four Idaho college students were found dead, police are looking into the possibility that one of the victims had a stalker.
12 hours ago
Elizabeth Weiler

Financial infidelity: What does the Utah data look like?

The average Utahn would 'reconsider their relationship' if their partner spent $5k without consulting them first, reveals research from coupon birds.
12 hours ago
A snowy mountain with trees is pictured, avalanche risk is measured often this time of year...
Adam Small

How do forecasters determine avalanche risk?

Determining the avalanche risk for any given day takes coordination between avalanche forecasters and the National Weather Service.
12 hours ago
Jeff Zeleny, Eva McKend and Gregory Krieg, CNN

Georgia voters once again have the last word during election season

During a campaign rally for Warnock in Atlanta last week, former President Barack Obama stressed the immediate impact of Democrats potentially winning a 51st Senate seat.
12 hours ago
Hugo Rikard-Bell

Suspected criminals on Zillow listing Utah homes for sale without homeowners’ knowledge

Be careful when looking at homes on Zillow with the intention of buying or renting them, they may not actually be on the market.
12 hours ago
A memorial is pictured near the scene of the Colorado shooting at Club Q...
COLLEEN SLEVIN Associated Press

Colorado gay club shooting suspect charged with hate crimes

Investigators say Anderson Lee Aldrich entered Club Q, a sanctuary for the LGBTQ community in this mostly conservative city, just before midnight on Nov. 19.
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Orem Mayor under investigation for misuse of personal retirement funds