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Here's the lede:
The Utah Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands made a big mistake when it supported using taxpayers’ money to assist the legal defense of San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman, who was convicted last year of a misdemeanor when he drove an ATV in Southern Utah’s Recapture Canyon, which is federally protected. The commission wants a legal analysis of the case.Check out the full editorial, Peeps:
However, the commission’s Republicans, which include Plain City State Sen. Scott Jenkins, are angling to have Utah’s Constitutional Defense Council spend as much as $100,000 to defend Lyman, who faces sentencing later this summer. The council, which will meet later this year, decides money to be allocated for states’ rights tussles with the feds.The 6-2 party-line vote by the commission is an insult to Utah taxpayers, who should not be given the legal tab for a county commissioner’s instance of political activism. If lawmakers want to pay the court bills of Commissioner Lyman, pass the hat among legislators, or pursue assistance from an interest group that sympathizes with Lyman.
We respect that Utah lawmakers have an interest in states rights and any potential conflicts with the federal government. But that should not extend to paying the tab for law-breakers, which Lyman is. A Democratic member of the commission, State Sen. Jim Dabakis, Salt Lake City, has it right when he said, “He (Lyman) made the decision to have a public protest. Now he has to face the music.”This is an editorial board "firing on all cylinders," wethink.
Utah: "the most fiscally responsible state" (except when it's not.)