Amy Fowler resigns from the SLC council after being arrested for drunk driving

On the day of her arrest in Utah County following an accident in Salt Lake County, she was scheduled to be in Sanpete County representing an inmate in an assault case.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Amy Fowler will be sworn in as a member of the Salt Lake City Council on Monday, January 3, 2022. She announced on Tuesday that she intends to resign from the city council.

Salt Lake City City Council member Amy Fowler said Tuesday that she would be stepping down from her elected office after being arrested earlier this month on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Fowler said in a statement that she will delay her departure until July 3 to fully represent District 7, which includes the Sugar House area on the east side, during the remainder of the budget process. The council is due to finalize the 2024 budget next month.

“Thank you to the residents of District 7 for voting me to office twice,” Fowler said. “It was an honor for me.”

The council will accept applications and select a replacement for Fowler within 30 days of her retirement date. District 7 will then hold an election in November to decide who will serve for the final two years of Fowler’s term.

She was elected to her second term in 2021.

Mayor Erin Mendenhall commented on Fowler’s impending departure on Tuesday afternoon.

“I trust that Councilman Fowler’s decision to step down,” the mayor said, “was made after careful consideration and consideration of the needs of Salt Lake City and her borough, as well as her own well-being.”

Sugar House Community Council vice chair Judi Short said Fowler’s decision to step down was the right move.

“People feel like they’re not represented,” she said. “She has to do this for her own health. Take care of that first.”

On May 3, the Utah Highway Patrol arrested Fowler on suspicion of drunk driving in Springville. Law enforcement said she was involved in an accident in Murray and did not stop to share information with the other driver.

UHP Sgt. Cameron Roden said the collision occurred around 9:05 a.m. on Interstate 15 near 4800 South in Murray. Roden said officers reached Fowler by phone after the crash. She then stopped and waited for police before being taken into custody at an exit off I-15 in Springville, about 40 miles from the scene of the collision.

“She stated that another vehicle hit her vehicle in Salt Lake [County] But she didn’t stop because she didn’t think they stopped,” one police officer wrote in a report. “She had reduced fine motor skills. She couldn’t use her fingertips to hand me documents, she used her whole hand to pick up and hand over papers.”

After initially denying drinking and refusing to take a sobriety test, Fowler agreed to be tested, according to a police report. A breath test gave a value of 0.111. The legal limit in Utah is 0.05.

Fowler, a criminal defense attorney, was arrested at 10:54 am, six minutes before she was scheduled to appear in the 6th Circuit Court in Manti to represent a Utah Department of Corrections inmate in a personal injury case.

Judge Mandy Larsen postponed the hearing due to a “conflict in the attorney’s plan.”

“MS. Fowler,” the court filing states, “did not appear in court.”

Fowler’s announced resignation Tuesday came hours after the Salt Lake Tribune asked her to comment on missing the court hearing. Records show she is scheduled to represent the inmate at a virtual hearing on Wednesday.

On May 9 — almost a week after her arrest — Fowler publicly stated that she intended to remain on the council, calling her arrest an “eye-opening” experience that made her reflect on her relationship with alcohol.

“I recognize that this incident may have created a lack of trust and I will work hard to restore that trust,” she said in a public session. “I believe we are a community of compassion and forgiveness.”

Hours later, Council Chair Darin Mano said in a statement during the meeting that Fowler would be stepping down from her role as vice chair of the city’s redevelopment agency and “resigning” from some of her public duties as a part-time council member for 30 days.

“We believe it’s important to recognize that council members, as human beings, make mistakes and mistakes,” Mano said. “We also believe in showing compassion and grace to all people, including our fellow councillors, at times like these.”

Fowler is scheduled to appear in Springville Justice Court for a hearing on her DUI case on June 8 — the same day her 30-day leave of absence from borough council duties expires.

Justin Scaccy

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