Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Standard-Examiner: S-E Article Sparked Probe, Says Official

Now's your chance to examine the SBI crime report and decide for yourselves whether criminal charges in this matter are warranted

In advance of this afternoon's press conference, the Standard-Examiner carries a front page story, reporting on the content of the 7/30/09 SBI Report prepared by the Utah Department of Public Safety in connection with its criminal investigation of suspects in the Envision Ogden money laundering scandal, and obtained yesterday by the Standard-Examiner via a GRAMA documents request.

Read the full SE story here:
S-E article sparked probe, says official
And here's a link to the Utah Department of Public Safety Report:
7/30/09 SBI Report PDF
Some of our readers have already made some headway in analyzing the latter report in last night's lower comment section; but for those readers who haven't yet had a look at this important and revealing SBI investigative document, now's your chance to examine it and decide for yourselves whether criminal charges are warranted in this matter.

Don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle Ones.


RudiZink said...

Perceptive Dan S. reader comment under today's SE story:

"A few more details from the investigation report: Lucas said he personally delivered one of the FNURE checks to Blain Johnson, and when Shreve was asked "Who's FNURE?", he responded, "That's Blain Johnson." Last year, of course, Councilman Johnson first denied any knowledge of FNURE, and later claimed that FNURE was run by employees of a title company in his building.

blackrulon said...

Amazing, simply amazing. The S-E has ignorned or overlooked any wrongdoing by the mayor and his administration for years. Now that other outside agencies are looking at the problem they are attempting to protray them selves as leading the investigation. I have said before and I'll say it again. The S-E claims to be a watchdog for the public interest but they are really just a lapdog to the mayor.

Dan S. said...

Regarding the use of identical language in the responses of several of the contributors: I suspect that the contributors' responses weren't that similar, but they were similar enough that the investigator saved time with a little copy-and-paste.

Dan S. said...


Someday I'll try to write a serious summary of how the S-E has played a crucial role in exposing these crimes, even while it also played a crucial role in hiding them. The explanations are subtle, and I wouldn't use the term "lapdog".

RudiZink said...

I agree, Dan. I took the witness statements as being merely paraphrased.

blackrulon said...

Dan S. The S-E sat on this information for years. Many citizens especially you. attempted to interest the S-E to investigate. The S-E ignored the story and others involving the mayor for years. The S-E is giving this a story mainly because the City Weekly and the Salt Lake Tribune reported on the investigation. The S-E did not worry abbout the reportingvof this story. They only became interested when it appeared they were being scooped on this story and are only trying to avoid answering questions about their refusal to persue the story. Their main purpose is not reporting news but just trying to avoid embarrasement on not reporting the story.

BlameJohnssonNotMe said...

Blain Johnson - Facts from the investigation:
"I know I didn't do anything wrong"
"I don't believe I did anything wrong"
Johnson said he believed Friends of Northern Utah Real Estate was a legitimate organization, despite not being able to come up with the names of anyone associated with it.
Credible? Believable? Ethical? You be the judge.

Curmudgeon said...

On the oddly identical answers to some of the questions donors were asked by investigators:

Yes, it's possible the nearly identical language is the result of the interviewer taking short cuts in recording answers. But that's an assumption at this point, a possibility only. It is also possible the identical language resulted from several of the donors working from a script, from a set of replies that had been agreed upon among them in advance. In which case the interesting question arises, who provided them with the script?

I don't know which of those two possibilities it is. But it is a fact that the answers to questions, like No. 9, that are included in the report are close to identical from several of the donors questioned. And that needs explaining.

BlameJohnssonNotMe said...

Rep. Charles Rangel (attorney), once one of the most influential House members, was convicted Tuesday on 11 counts of breaking ethics rules and now faces punishment.
He said then that "he never intended to break any rules".

Will justice be delivered in Ogden? Blain Johnson (attorney) "I don't believe I did anything wrong"
We'll know soon enough.

Curmudgeon said...

Curmudgeon quietly notes that it was a Democratic House of Reps ethics committee that found a Dem. congressman in violation of nearly a dozen House ethics rules.

We need significantly more of that kind of party-policing-its-own from the Democratic Party but especially from the GOP [whose Senate caucus apparently saw no ethical problems at all in Sen. Vitter hiring a DC prostitute]. And we need more of parties cleaning up their own ethical messes both in Congress and especially in Utah where confessions by prominent Republicans of sexual adventures with underage employees produces standing ovations by their fellow members.

you who said...

And now the Ogden City Health care provider is non other than Select Med Health Care. It seems as though their contribution did indeed pay off.
The City picked them up (Select Med Health Care an arm of Intermountain Health AKA Mckay Dee owners) about two years ago after a long time with Altius. The story gets more interesting all the time.

BlameJohnssonNotMe said...

BJNM "loudly" notes both parties are to "Blain". Great call Curm!
Playing footsie with a person in an adjoining bathroom stall may be misconstrued as having interest in "johnson". Underage hot tubbing, not cool, worthy of standing ovation or legal. Unfortunately these are the obvious bad behaviors while fiscal favors, unethical perks and absolutely "bought and paid for" politicians are rarely addressed by either party. Unethically lining of pocketbooks is a massive bipartisan problem and certainly not isolated to political preference.

It will be interesting to see if Blain Johnson stands up and echoes Rangel's words "I didn't have time or money to acquire proper representation." Lest we forget, they are both attorneys.

Curmudgeon said...

Been mulling over the SE's sudden re-discovery of the FNURE/Envison Ogden scandal investigation. The paper began by arguing that it was largely a dead story, old news, no longer significant [Dan's conversation with the exec ed]. Then, within a week of the Salt Lake City Weekly breaking the news that the AG's investigation had been reopened, and reporting the story of FNURE/Envision Ogden/Godfrey in more detail than the SE ever had, the SE rushes into print with two, count 'em two, new long stories on the story it previously said was no story at all. And in one of them, it crows that a story it had done on the subject a loooong time ago was instrumental in triggering the AG's investigation, which the SE thought was so insignificant as to be no longer worth reporting --- until the City Weekly reported on it, and then the SL Trib.


That's really raising the bar on sophistry, claiming credit for initiating an investigation you previously considered not newsworthy enough to follow up on.

Kind of redefines journalistic chutzpah, que no?

And of course it leaves SE readers wondering what other Ogden City stories the SE now considers trivial and un-newsworthy that it will suddenly discover to be important and worth major coverage after an out of town paper reports them first.

So many opportunities. So many missed chances.

ozboy said...

Twas an interesting and informative presentation put on at the Library this afternoon by Dan Schroeder and Neil Hansen. The citizens of Ogden owe a whole lot to these two crusader's Quixote quest for honesty in gummint. They both have obviously spent a huge amount of their time, energy and precious bodily fluids investigating this little series of crimes committed by the little serial criminal who hangs out on the ninth floor.

I am however rather skeptical that any one with any authority here in the land of Zion is ever going to run Godfrey and his crooked pals to ground. Those in power hereabouts are in complete support of Godfrey vis-a-vis his Ogden redevelopment visions and they are obvious willing to look the other way to his dishonest and incompetent ways of operating. I would say it demonstrates that old saw - "the end justifies the means". On top of that, the eight hundred pound gorilla just luvs Godfrey's pointed little head and is OK with the blatant law breaking that comes with him. All that adds up to the crooked little bastard being bullet proof and above the law in the land of Zion.

dizzy said...

"And of course it leaves SE readers wondering what other Ogden City stories the SE now considers trivial and un-newsworthy that it will suddenly discover to be important and worth major coverage after an out of town paper reports them first."

Many of us has been questioning this type of SE reporting for years.

Any real newspaper would be having a field day with the corruption and incompetence going on with this Ogden administration. Too bad our paper supports and justifies it.

Enough Already said...

It has long concerned me that more critical information regarding Ogden issues consistently appears in SLC newspapers before anything shows up in our local paper - if it ever shows up at all. The SE continues to provide a huge disservice to the honest and truth-seeking members of this community.
If I’m reading the report correctly, there is an equally ominous issue to note: I’m wondering why the state attorney’s office declined to proceed with any further investigation at the time the report was made. It appears as though the investigation was closed more than a year ago, buried and then forgotten. Now, in the harsh glow of the spotlight, the state attorney’s office has miraculously discovered merit and has reopened the investigation? Seems as though there is no end to the layers of protection, deception, exemption, corruption and collusion that exist among this rogue’s gallery of players.
Extremely disheartening!

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