Magazine article American Banker


Magazine article American Banker


Article excerpt

Paradise Lost

Dale Gibbons, who stepped down as the CFO of Zions Bancorp. in Salt Lake City after being charged with drug possession and child endangerment two years ago, was cleared of the charges last summer.

Now he is suing to clear his name.

Mr. Gibbons, who now lives in Las Vegas, filed suit last fall against a laundry list of defendants, among them Utah officials and the city and county of Salt Lake, alleging civil rights violations, defamation, and other charges.

The suit is wending its way through the U.S. District Court for Utah. On March 24 a judge ordered that Mr. Gibbons' complaint against certain defendants -- including Gov. Mike Leavitt, the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, and the Club Drug Workgroup, a state-sponsored antidrug group -- be "dismissed with prejudice."

The plaintiff alleged those parties had violated his civil rights by publishing "false and scandalous statements" in a report on the Club Drug Workgroup's Web site, and he requested they be removed.

The judge did not, however, dismiss Mr. Gibbons' suit against the sheriff's department and other authorities.

He was arrested in June 2001, after his 15-year-old daughter was found at his home suffering the symptoms of an apparent drug overdose and the police discovered 0.9 grams of methamphetamine.

Mr. Gibbons' suit claims that his credibility was damaged after his arrest, which made local television. It says that police statements to the news media and the coverage of the trial resulted in the loss of his $2 million-a-year job, his home, and his daughter's affection.

During the 12-month trial the prosecution painted Mr. Gibbons as living a double life: a buttoned-down senior executive working for an institution founded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who also hosted rave parties that featured widespread use of drugs such as Ecstasy. …

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