Deputy Chief Rick McLenon resigns from University of Utah Dept. of Public Safety

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A high-ranking officer with University of Utah Department of Public Safety has resigned. Deputy Chief Rick McLenon put in his resignation Tuesday and it was accepted by Chief Rodney Chatman.

When ABC4’s Brittany Johnson asked why McLenon resigned, Chatman said he didn’t know and added that the university does not comment on personnel issues.

ABC4 News can confirm that the Professional Standards Division of Public Safety is doing an investigation into possible mishandling of photographic evidence regarding the Lauren McCluskey case at the University of Utah.

McCluskey, a track athlete at the university, was murdered on campus in 2018 by a man she briefly dated, according to authorities.

RELATED: Timeline of Lauren McCluskey’s murder and events following her death

McLenon’s resignation also comes weeks after Chief Chatman ordered a new investigation into the case.

McLenon’s resignation is the latest upheaval within the department. Officer Miguel Deras resigned from the force in September 2019. He was disciplined for how he handled McCluskey’s concerns before her murder. Following his resignation, Deras was also accused of mishandling sensitive photos of McCluskey.

On Wednesday, Chatman offered some insight into how the department will move forward without one of its top officers.

“Were going to do everything in collaboration with our community. We’ll make some strides that I think will be in the best interest of our campus community and building relationships with our students. I’m pretty positive this will work out in a manner which will be transparent in the direction we’re going,” said Chatman.

Chatman was named as the new police chief in January 2020.

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