Winder owes Moab an apology


Jim Winder does not play well with others. One of the nicest things I can say about him is he will never be accused of being a politician.

As sheriff of Salt Lake County, he refused to talk to the city’s mayor and police chief.

When he was hired as police chief, the City of Moab was desperate to find a replacement for Police Chief Michael Navarre, who quit suddenly and without warning.

Winder took advantage of the situation. He demanded and received a salary of $150,000 a year, $20,000 more than Chief Navarre was getting – and the same amount he was being paid as sheriff of Salt Lake County.

He is disturbingly thin-skinned, something I experienced firsthand after I politely wrote asking to see him about the behavior of one of his officers. Chief Winder refused to call me for three months. Eventually I had to call the mayor and the city manager before he relented to call me back.

According to Chief Winder’s daily appointment calendar I obtained, (thank you GRAMA) he did very little in his first year. Over 80 percent of his appointment calendar was blank. What little he did as police chief was mostly ceremonial.

In my opinion, he took the job in Moab to remove himself from the toxic situation he helped create in Salt Lake County while collecting the same salary. During his subsidized hiatus here, he began the task of looking for a “real” job back in Salt Lake.

That “real” job turns out to be chief of investigations for the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, something he forgot to tell the good people of Moab last week when he announced he was leaving.

I hope the new job isn’t too political for Mr. Winder – I wish him luck. I also think he owes Moab an apology for his cynical use of the people and resources of this community.


– Brian Donegan