Contention is no stranger to Orem City politics. Still, emotions were raised to a new level Tuesday night, September 19, after Linnea Pugmire confronted Orem City Mayor David Young in the parking lot of Orem City Hall after the City Council meeting.
Pugmire is the 31-year-old daughter of longtime Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire, who covers Orem City politics for the Daily Herald. Genelle Pugmire declined to comment when reached for comment last Wednesday afternoon, stating she wasn’t involved and didn’t witness the altercation.
The younger Pugmire was seen on a widely-distributed video attempting to punch the Orem Mayor and spit in his face before being arrested and charged with various crimes, including threatening a public official and felony assault.
In the video acquired by the Lehi Free Press, Pugmire yelled, “He deserves it,” and “He deserves everything coming his way,” before being handcuffed by police.
The confrontation stemmed from Mayor Young’s comments earlier in the City Council meeting, where he spent over ten minutes expressing his dissatisfaction with Genell Pugmire and the Daily Herald’s coverage of his administration and his personal legal troubles.
“I’ve been told by public relations folks that I probably shouldn’t go down this path, but it’s just gotten to be too ridiculous,” said Young to start his grievances.
“We come in here after some extremely off-the-rails articles that keep showing up in our local paper, the Daily Herald,” continued Young, who then read out loud several news headlines over the last two years that he objected to.
Young and several members of the City Council have also accused Pugmire of conspiring with the Orem Political Issue Committee (PIC) “Stronger Together” to advance its political positions. The “Stronger Together” PIC was formed to oppose Orem’s Prop 2, which, if approved, would have led to Orem’s exit from the Alpine School District last year. The PIC has recently come under fire for meddling in other Orem political issues and received a letter from the Lt Governor’s Office, which recommended they dissolve their PIC to avoid any future criminal or civil penalties, including a fine of $1,000.
“We are deeply troubled by this incident because City Hall should be a place for civil civic dialogue where everyone feels safe and protected. The security and safety of our public officials is a top priority,” said Orem City in a statement on Wednesday, September 20.
Linnea Pugmire didn’t respond to a request for comment.