DABC official accused of dragging his feet by lawmaker

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 14 2012 8:41 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — The interim director of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control was accused Tuesday by Senate President Michael Waddoups of moving too slowly to implement structural changes ordered by lawmakers. 

"It almost feels like you're dragging your feet. You're saying you'll get to it when it's convenient," Waddoups told Sal Petilos during a meeting of the Legislature's Executive Appropriations Committee.

Petilos was named in late June by Gov. Gary Herbert to head the troubled agency that controls alcohol sales in Utah and has yet to be confirmed by the Senate.

He said the agency was waiting for two new members to join the DABC Commission before creating new oversight groups, including an advisory board.

Petilos said he understood that lawmakers wanted all seven member of the commission to have input on the implementation of new laws intended to fix past problems including contracts being awarded to the son of a former executive director.

Waddoups also asked about the results of a recently completed inventory. 

Petilos said the inventory found about $18,000 in merchandise system wide was missing. Waddoups said that was better than he expected to find and Petilos said the finding "was an item of joy," calling the loss a small percentage of the agency's stock.

Petilos replaced the DABC's temporary executive director, Francine Giani, who also heads the state Department of Commerce. Last week, Herbert selected Giani and community volunteer Olivia Vela Agraz  to fill the two new commission seats added by the 2012 Legislature.

Both appointments also must be confirmed by the Senate, likely in September.

E-mail: lisa@desnews.com

Twitter: dnewspolitics

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