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High court rules against ex-candidate who wanted Gov. Gary Herbert ousted

Published: Friday, July 20 2012 6:52 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Supreme Court on Friday upheld a decision to dismiss the petition of a man challenging the election of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.

Steven Maxfield appeared before the state's high court contending that Herbert and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon committed campaign finance reporting violations in the 2010 gubernatorial race and should be found ineligible to hold office. Maxfield argued that they used political action committees in an effort to keep the public from tracking donations.

Herbert's attorney countered that Maxfield's allegations were investigated and "found to have no merit" and said Maxfield was trying to take campaign finance monitoring responsibilities into his own hands.

Maxfield's legal action was dismissed by two different judges in two different districts in July 2011, but he appealed to the Utah Supreme Court.

"Maxfield raises two essential issues on appeal, one procedural and one substantive," Justice Thomas Lee wrote in a ruling released Friday. "He first contends that the district court erred in failing to follow the procedures mandated by the election-contest statute. Second, he challenges the district court’s refusal to allow him to bring an election contest based on allegations of campaign finance violations. We reject both arguments and affirm."

Emiley Morgan

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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