BRIGHAM CITY, Utah (AP) — Brigham City Councilwoman Ruth Jensen has filed a police report, alleging Mayor Dennis Fife assaulted her by grabbing her arm during a heated argument after a meeting.
An outside police agency will investigate Jensen’s claims that Fife grabbed her by the arm and held her in place while yelling at her Wednesday night, police said.
Fife disputes Jensen’s account of the incident and says it’s being blown out of proportion.
Their dispute stems from a meeting of mayors and council members from Brigham City, Perry and Willard to consider which of two planning associations to join.
When Jensen said during the meeting that she and two colleagues preferred going with one of the associations, Fife said that wasn’t true and the council leaned toward the other association.
The mayor is accused of grabbing Jensen’s arm when she confronted him after the meeting about his remarks.
“I said the next time he says out loud that what I’m saying is not true, he’ll have to provide facts to support it,” Jensen told The Salt Lake Tribune. “He grabbed my arm and said, ‘You go ahead and do that.’ I told him never to touch me again.”
Fife said that during the meeting, Jensen made an inappropriate comment that three Brigham City council members had decided to vote for one of the two planning associations. He responded by saying that Jensen doesn’t represent the city council.
After the meeting, Fife said, Jensen walked up to him, yelled and accused him of calling her a liar. He then placed his hand on her arm as a reflex, he said.
“She immediately said, ‘Don’t touch me. Don’t ever touch me,’” Fife told Ogden’s Standard-Examiner. “There was no intent to harm her, and I didn’t grab her.”
In December, Fife spurned demands that he resign after he confessed to an extramarital affair with a woman he had formerly counseled as a Mormon bishop.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)