Davis County, FBI investigating Lt. Gov. Bell
Alleged abuse of his government power sparks investigation
Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The Davis County attorney said Thursday his office and the FBI are investigating allegations that Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell commissioned an audit to interfere with a child welfare case.
The criminal investigation began in November 2011 after a constituent complained, Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings disclosed in a letter about the investigation.
Rawlings said the complaint alleges government power and taxpayer money were abused when Bell asked for a review into a child abuse case. Bell is accused of having a personal relationship to someone involved in the case.
The investigation was first reported by Salt Lake City Weekly on Wednesday.
Rawlings declined to comment beyond the letter he released. A spokeswoman for the FBI said the agency would not confirm or deny the investigation.
During a news conference Thursday, Gov. Gary Herbert said Bell's review was "very appropriate" and it's something the executive branch does regularly to oversee departments within the executive branch. He said similar reviews have been done with the state's labor and workforce services departments.
"We have a responsibility to make sure that those processes are being done correctly," he said.
Herbert also expressed his support for Bell.
"I've got all the confidence in the world for Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, who has not done anything inappropriate," he said. "He is honest as the day is long and is a man without guile."
The lieutenant governor was unavailable to comment Thursday evening, but the governor's office released a statement reiterating Herbert's earlier comments.
- Argument, break-up threats preceded double...
- Delta man staged hate crimes in a 'cry for...
- 10 Utahns charged in alleged identity theft...
- Sandy man beat woman, tried to put her in an...
- 6-year-old recounts terror of man breaking...
- UVU hopes to become 'national leader' with...
- Roosevelt couple fears partially-dressed man...
- Ask a Chef: 3 funeral potato recipes that...
- Utahns have mixed reactions to Supreme... 58
- Experts: Decision raises religious... 52
- Episcopal bishops seek end to 'unholy... 40
- Utah's same-sex marriage supporters... 30
- Support for law requiring sales tax for... 24
- Neil Flinders: Keeping track of school... 14
- Educators, parents see four-year high... 13
- U.S. Supreme Court overturns EPA's... 12