Who says a public outcry can’t make a difference?Read the full story, folks:
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.
- Constitutional Defense Council Declines to Use Public Money to Pay Legal Fees for Embattled County Commissioner
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.
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.Write it down, so you don'r forget it, Weber County voters.
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]..
The rest of the Utah online media is all over this story, too:
- Utah taxpayers off the hook, Gov. Herbert first to sign up for Lyman’s legal defense fund - Salt Lake Tribune
- Utah won't put up money to defend commissioner's illegal ATV ride - Deseret News
- Taxpayers won’t pay for appeal of commissioner’s protest ride, but politicians kick in cash - Fox 13
- Supporters step in as state bows out of commissioner's legal fight against feds - ABC4
- Commissioner Won't Get Taxpayer Money for Criminal Defense - KUER
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!"