Original Proceeding in this Court
W. Rawson, Nate N. Nelson, and Jeremy G. Jones, Attorneys for
D. Reyes and Joshua D. Davidson, Attorneys for Respondent
Department of Public Safety
Jill M. Pohlman authored this Opinion, in which Judges David
N. Mortensen and Ryan M. Harris concurred.
After lying to his supervisors about his extramarital
affairs, Bradley Macfarlane lost his position as a training
officer and investigator at Peace Officer Standards and
Training (POST), a division of the Department of Public
Safety (DPS). Macfarlane contends that the agency acted
arbitrarily and requests a less serious sanction than
termination. DPS counters that honesty and integrity are
vital to a POST officer's job duties and that Macfarlane
has lost its trust. The Career Service Review Office (CSRO)
upheld DPS's decision to dismiss Macfarlane, as do we.
POST is responsible for the training and regulation of
certified law enforcement personnel throughout the state. Its
mission is to "promote and ensure the safety and welfare
of [Utah's] citizens . . . and provide for efficient and
professional law enforcement by establishing minimum
standards and training for peace officers." Utah Code
Ann. § 53-6-103(3) (LexisNexis 2015). To that end,
POST's role is to "ensur[e] that certified
individuals meet a minimum level of fitness" and to
"investigate allegations regarding those individuals
that implicate [their] certificate."
All peace officers are required to be certified, id.
§ 53-6-202(4), and officers may have their certification
"suspend[ed] or revoke[d]" for several enumerated
reasons, id. § 53-6-211(1). Typically,
termination of an officer's employment does not
necessarily suspend or revoke the officer's certification
unless the termination was for one of the enumerated reasons.
See id. § 53-6-211(5)(a).
Macfarlane joined POST in 2013 and holds a POST
certification. His job duties at POST included investigating
allegations of misconduct among certified law enforcement
officers and teaching courses on topics such as report
writing and ethics. Immediately before joining POST,
Macfarlane worked in Summit County as a detective. As a POST
employee, Macfarlane was expected to be "beyond
In the latter part of 2015, Macfarlane's supervisor at
POST (Director) heard rumors that Macfarlane was having
marital troubles. Director also heard that Macfarlane was
having an affair with a woman named Kay. In a meeting with
Macfarlane (the 2015 Interview), Director asked Macfarlane
"if he was having an extramarital affair with a woman
named [Kay]." Though Macfarlane admitted to an
"affair of the heart," he truthfully responded
"no" to Director's specific question about a
sexual relationship with Kay. Macfarlane later stated,
however, that he understood that Director "was asking
him whether he was having an affair generally, not
specifically [with] one woman." And as to that query,
Macfarlane did not respond truthfully. Macfarlane even
apologized to another supervisor (Captain) for "lying to
Director" and being "deceptive" during the
2015 Interview. As put by Macfarlane in a later interview,
"I'm not an idiot. . . . I knew where [Director] was
going" with his question.
As it turned out, Macfarlane had affairs with five women-none
of whom were named Kay. One of these women, Amy, was sexually
involved with Macfarlane from November 2014 through late
2015, but they knew each other for a "few years"
before that. In early 2015, Amy called Macfarlane to help her
with a criminal matter she was involved in for writing bad
checks. Macfarlane looked up Amy's case on a police
database and discovered that the Draper Police Department was
handling the matter and that he knew the detective
(Detective) assigned to the case. He then put Amy in touch
Amy later informed Macfarlane that she resolved her debt and,
with Detective's assistance, was able to get the charges
against her dismissed. But she also informed Macfarlane that
Detective, after taking her to a restaurant, tried to kiss
her in his patrol car and asked if she wanted to have sex.
Amy asked if this kind of behavior was normal, and Macfarlane
responded that he thought it sounded "predatory"
and asked her if she wanted to file a complaint. Amy
declined, and Macfarlane did not record the incident in
POST's complaint log or notify Detective's superiors
at the Draper Police Department about what he had been told.
Nearly a year later, Macfarlane did tell a sergeant at POST
(Sergeant) about Amy's incident with Detective. Sergeant
relayed the information to Detective's supervisor, which
prompted an investigation (the Draper Investigation). The
Deputy Chief at the Draper Police Department (Deputy Chief)
called Sergeant for more information, and Sergeant asked
Macfarlane to contact Deputy Chief and provide what details
he could. After Sergeant made that request, Macfarlane's
"demeanor changed" and he "appeared extremely
nervous." Macfarlane asked Sergeant, over and over,
"Why did you do this?" and said, "I'm
going to lose my job. I'm going to be in so much
trouble." Macfarlane explained, "I should have put
it on the complaint log, and I didn't."
Macfarlane then called Deputy Chief, who asked for
identifying information about Amy so that he could
investigate the matter. According to Sergeant, Macfarlane
"minimiz[ed] his knowledge of [Amy]" while
"appear[ing] to be helpful." In response to Deputy
Chief's inquiry, Macfarlane said that he knew only
Amy's first name and did not have her telephone number.
He described his interaction with Amy as a "half a dozen
texts, maybe two phone calls, and a face-to-face at the
gym" they both attended. And when asked about Amy's
last name, Macfarlane said, "It seems to me like
it's a, like a Hispanic last name, but I can't
Without more information, the Draper Police Department was
unable to find Amy. When Macfarlane asked Sergeant if they
had found Amy, Sergeant responded "no" because they
had only her first name. This answer prompted Macfarlane to
remark how easily he could have found her. On another
occasion, nearly a year after the phone call with Deputy
Chief, Macfarlane came to talk to Sergeant about "how
[Macfarlane was] an awesome detective" and how Deputy
Chief "doesn't know what he's doing,"
because he should have already found Amy. Sergeant wondered
how the Draper Police Department should have found Amy with
only a "common first name like that," and
Macfarlane said that "they could have searched
through" his Facebook friends or through her work
address. Sergeant replied, "You never gave her last
name," and Macfarlane said, "Yes, I did."
Sergeant challenged this assertionand told Macfarlane that
"Draper might still be interested in that"
information. Sergeant then asked Macfarlane whether he was
"going to tell them [how to find Amy] today."
Macfarlane responded, "Not unless they ask."
After her conversation with Macfarlane, Sergeant called
Deputy Chief, who was planning to meet with Macfarlane on an
unrelated matter that day. Sergeant suggested that Deputy
Chief ask Macfarlane about Amy because he had more
information. Deputy Chief asked "why . . . Macfarlane
sat on this information for so long," and Sergeant told
him she "did not know." Deputy Chief said that he
knew "Macfarlane knew more about [Amy]" than he let
on in their earlier phone conversation. On another occasion,
however, Deputy Chief said that he had no issues with
After Macfarlane's meeting with Deputy Chief, Macfarlane
told Sergeant that "he was able to point out [Amy] . . .
in two seconds" and that "he should be a Deputy
Chief somewhere because it was so easy." Sergeant asked
why he could not have found Amy last year when Deputy Chief
first asked, and Macfarlane said that he did "not want
[Amy] or her drama in his life."
In February 2017, Macfarlane's supervisors-Director and
Captain-still had concerns about Macfarlane's work
performance and rumors of his affairs. After interviewing
Macfarlane's coworkers, who said that Macfarlane was
easily distracted and was often gone from the office for long
periods, Director and Captain interviewed Macfarlane (the
2017 Interview). Director told Macfarlane that he wanted a
"very direct interview" and expected Macfarlane to