Thursday, June 25, 2015

Utah Policy: Constitutional Defense Council Declines to Use Public Money to Pay Legal Fees for Embattled County Commissioner

Lyman supporters – including GOP Gov. Gary Herbert – will insted donate private money to Lyman personally for his appeal and his trial costs

Following up on our earlier post on the topic, the Utah webosphere is ablaze with the good news that Utah taxpayers are "off the hook" for San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman's legal bills. Here's the encouraging lead from this morning's Utah Policy story:
Who says a public outcry can’t make a difference?
Or the threat of lawsuits?
Or an upcoming election?
After a closed meeting Wednesday, the state’s Constitutional Defense Council and the Utah Association of Counties came to an understanding:
The state WILL NOT spend $100,000 of CDC money to defend San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman, should he decide to appeal his recent conviction in federal court for leading an ATV ride on a dirt road closed to such activity by the Bureau of Land Management.
Read the full story, folks:
Here's the interesting upshot, WCF readers:
Instead, any number of Lyman supporters – including GOP Gov. Gary Herbert – will donate private money to Lyman personally for his appeal and his trial costs.Herbert, who seeks re-election in 2016, will donate $10,000 to Lyman, said Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, who chairs the CDC.
The $10,000 check will be written from Herbert’s political action committee, not personal funds, gubernatorial aides told UtahPolicy.
Added bonus: Utah Policy provides this interesting glimpse into one of our own Weber County Commsioner's stance on the use of taxpayer funds in support of scofflaw Phil Lyman's post-conviction defense:
Former GOP legislator, current president of the Utah Association of Counties, Kerry Gibson, a Weber County commissioner, told UtahPolicy that he had the votes on the CDC to provide UAC with the $100,000 requested to defend Lyman.
But after the closed session – in which Assistant Attorney General Tony Rampton briefed council members about the legal implications of the state getting involved in an individual’s criminal conviction appeal – Gibson and his fellow UAC members present decided to withdraw their official request for the $100,000.
So the CDC, their membership here, never took a vote, [Emphasis added]..
Write it down, so you don'r forget it, Weber County voters.

The rest of the Utah online media is all over this story, too:
A Weber County Forum Tip O' the Hat to Alliance for a Better Utah, whose "threatened" lawsuit seems to have made all the difference.

That's right.  Even in Utah"Sometimes the good guy wins. Now that's a Better Utah!" 

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