WEST JORDAN, Utah, March 21, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — West Jordan City Councilman Jeff Haaga has resigned nearly eight months after leaving the scene of an accident outside of a bar.
Haaga was leaving a bar in late July of 2016 when he reportedly struck a parked vehicle near the Black Sheep Bar & Grill, at 1520 W. 9000 South. Witnesses told police Haaga was intoxicated.
South Jordan officers responded to the scene, but found Haaga had left. They drove to Haaga’s home, where officers reported Haaga confessed to hitting the car. The South Jordan officers said Haaga smelled of alcohol and appeared to be intoxicated, according to reports.
The SJPD officers ticketed Haaga for leaving the scene, and told him they could have arrested him for drunk driving. Haaga reportedly suggested that his status as a councilman protected him.
Shortly afterward, West Jordan Mayor Melissa Johnson suggested Haaga resign, saying public office should not be used to shirk responsibility for illegal actions.
“The fact you are a council member does not give you a free pass to ignore the law,” she said.
In October, Haaga pleaded innocent on the charge of leaving an accident scene, but then changed his plea to guilty. He was sentenced to probation and a fee.
The resignation letter Haaga submitted Monday did not reference the incident, instead saying he was resigning “due to some personal family matters.” Haaga also asked that his privacy be responded as he returned to his life as a private citizen.
“I am honored to have served West Jordan and its residents and am proud of the work I’ve done while in office,” his letter said.