Doctor: Gary Ott suffered from dementia before 2014 reelection

Local News

WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) A doctor diagnosed former Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott with dementia one year before his re-election in 2014. 

The revelation came out of a guardianship hearing for the long-time elected official Thursday. 

Ott’s former primary care physician testified he suspected Alzheimer’s disease in the fall of 2013, after testing showed Ott had neurological impairment.

Dr. Charles Richardson also testified Ott complained of confusion and memory loss during the time he treated the former county recorder from 2013 to 2016.

Prior to that, Richardson said Ott was taking prescribed medication for the management of dementia symptoms. 

It’s a diagnosis Ott denied to ABC4 Utah News last year, after he was found wandering alone in Grantsville* by police who say he wasn’t making any sense. When asked why he was there, police reported Ott said he was with his people and vegetables. 

“Do you think his mental capacity may have played a role in his public office,” ABC4 Utah Reporter Hailey Higgins asked Mary Corporon, attorney for the Ott’s siblings.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” said Corporon. 

During a two-day evidentiary hearing, Ott’s medical records were submitted to the court during the ongoing battle over permanent governorship between his family and girlfriend, Karmen Sanone. 

Ott’s family used temporary guardianship to initiate his resignation in July.

“He’s doing as well as could be expected under the circumstances and they are very difficult circumstances,” Corporon said.

Ott’s attorney said he remains in a medical facility. In August, Adam Gardiner was named as the new Salt Lake County Recorder.

*Editor’s note: A previous version of this story said Ott was spotted wandering in Taylorsville. The incident acually happened in Grantsville. 

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