SALT LAKE CITY - In a reversal of a decision handed down in 3rd District Court, the Utah Court of Appeals ruled the Davis County Attorney’s Office properly fired a deputy county attorney four years ago.
Tyler James Larsen, was fired in 2010 after alleged misconduct during an aggravated robbery trial.
A Utah State Bar disciplinary complaint said Larsen was let go for showing robbery victims a photo of the defendant, but he didn’t show the victims photos of others, as would be done in a photo line-up.
A mistrial was declared in the case after Larsen’s action came to light.
Larsen then appealed to the Davis County Career Service Council and the decision to fire Larsen was upheld.
However, Larsen appealed to the 3rd District Court.and in 2011 a judge there ruled he hadn’t been given due process, saying that the Davis County Attorney’s Office had taken additional allegations into account in firing Larsen.
The office reinstated Larsen following the ruling, but placed him on paid administrative leave.
Following Larsen’s reinstatement, the county attorney’s office appealed to the Utah Court of Appeals that reversed the 3rd District Court’s decision on Thursday, April 3.
The court’s ruling said Larsen received adequate notification of misconduct that occurred during the robbery trial.
“We conclude that the county accorded Larsen all the process he was due in view of the circumstances of the case,” the ruling said.
“... Larsen was terminated for knowingly using tainted testimony in an attempt to obtain a robbery conviction and then not fully disclosing the fact once his gambit came to light,” the ruling said. “This misconduct warrants termination of a prosecutor.”
Last year, Larsen filed a $1 million federal lawsuit against Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings, on the grounds of mistreatment and retaliation since he was rehired in 2011
In the lawsuit, Larsen claimed he worked in a hostile environment. The lawsuit claims mistreatment and retaliation on the part of Troy Rawlings since Larsen was rehired in 2011.
No trial date has been set.