Bill creating independent ethics panel in executive branch passes Senate
Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would create an independent ethics commission in the state's executive branch of government passed the Senate on Monday.
Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, drafted the measure in the wake of allegations of improper conduct against Utah Attorney General John Swallow, who is now under investigation by the FBI.
Currently, there is no avenue to initiate a complaint against the state's five top elected executives — governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer and auditor.
SB86 would create a five-member ethics commission comprised of two former lawmakers, two residents and either a retired judge or attorney. The panel would investigate formal complaints of high crimes, misdemeanors and malfeasance in office. It would have subpoena power to call witnesses and produce evidence.
Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, was the only no vote on the bill.
"I worry that this sends the message that this ethics commission may actually be stronger than it is," he said.
The Senate approved the bill 25-1. It now goes to the House.
- Mom who murdered 6 newborns sent to prison...
- About Utah: He's going public (again) for a...
- County clerks in Utah poring over new law on...
- Man paralyzed in shooting appeals sentence...
- 17 pictures that will make you appreciate...
- 26-year-old Provo woman missing since...
- A Utah hiker's dream: A trek that may take...
- Poll: LDS Church influence over Legislature...
- County clerks in Utah poring over new... 62
- BYU ranked 'best value college' in Utah 27
- Poll: LDS Church influence over... 25
- Herbert to meet with Obama... 24
- Utah Rep. Mia Love raises $440K in... 18
- Pornography conference probes perils,... 16
- Second student sues district over... 15
- Cheerleading coach who worked as youth... 11