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.
- Kennecott hopes project will change mountain...
- Many questions remain in case of baby found...
- Circleville farmers scratching their heads...
- Solar energy users claim victory as 'sun tax'...
- Family of fallen officer Derek Johnson...
- Woman who drank toxic tea credits God, family...
- Becky Lockhart serious about superintendent...
- Son of murdered woman felt peace in '91, now...
- Court allows Utah more time to file gay... 47
- Attorney general deciding whether to... 41
- Running again? Mitt Romney tells Hugh... 36
- Newborn found in trash can brings call... 34
- Audit reveals major concerns about UTA... 30
- Woman accused of leaving young son... 22
- Parents say daughter didn't understand... 22
- Gay rights activists to fight charges... 22