Despite police investigation, House Democrats re-elect King as Minority Leader

SALT LAKE CITY — House Democrats re-elected Rep. Brian King as Minority Leader, despite an ongoing criminal investigation against him.

In their caucus on Tuesday night, House Democrats elected Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, as Minority Whip, replacing Rep. Joel Briscoe, D-Salt Lake City. Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, will serve as assistant whip and Rep. Karen Kwan, D-Taylorsville, was elected Minority Caucus Manager.

“I am grateful and honored that our caucus continues to have confidence in my leadership,” Rep. Brian King said in a statement released through the caucus. “We have a very cohesive team, and we will continue speaking up for hardworking Utahns. I look forward to working closely with both my Democratic and Republican colleagues on tackling the challenges facing Utah and ensuring that all Utahns have opportunities to succeed and thrive.”

Rep. King is in the midst of a complaint filed by Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, over an October confrontation on Capitol Hill. Sen. Thatcher claims he was assaulted in the Senate building.

The Salt Lake Tribune was given a video under a public records request showing the altercation. It shows Sen. Thatcher emerging from a hallway in the Senate Building and putting his hand on Rep. King’s shoulder. The Minority Leader then grabs and pulls Sen. Thatcher toward a wall and the Republican pushes back. No audio is available, but they appear to engage in a brief conversation before walking off in the same direction.

Rep. King hasn’t denied making physical contact with Sen. Thatcher after an argument he said was about the minority leader supporting Sen. Thatcher’s opponent in November’s election. But he has said the allegations were “significantly exaggerated.”

The case has been referred to an outside agency for any possible charges.

Watch the video here: