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Group asks Attorney General to investigate Ivory

Published: Wednesday, March 16 2016 2:05 p.m. MDT

Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, speaks in the Utah House of Representatives Monday, March 2, 2015, at the Utah State Capitol. An organization filed a complaint with the Utah Attorney General's Office asking to determine whether Ivory "misused" state resources of obstructed a previous investigation into his activities with the American Lands Council.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — An organization that unsuccessfully sought criminal prosecution of Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, last year for alleged fraud in three states is once again seeking a probe of Ivory — this time accusing him of misusing state resources and lying to investigators.

The Campaign for Accountability filed the complaint with Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes on Wednesday, citing an alleged string of emails from Ivory's public legislative account conducting business on behalf of the private organization he once led as president, the American Lands Council.

The Campaign for Accountability organization, which bills itself as a private, nonprofit and nonpartisan watchdog group, includes advisory board member Louis Mayberg, who co-founded the liberal Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, D.C., or CREW. Its director is Anne Weismann, who served as chief legal counsel for CREW for a decade and its communications manager, Dan Stevens, CREW's one-time senior researcher.

In a news release, the Campaign for Accountability asserts Ivory lied to investigators about not using his state email account to promote the platform of the American Lands Council. The council was founded by rural county commissioners in 2012 — the same year Ivory ran and got passed the Transfer of Public Lands Act by the Utah Legislature.

That law, which has since led to bevy of other public lands action in Utah, sets up the framework for a fight against the U.S. government over ownership of some 30 million acres of national forest and Bureau of Land Management lands within the state's borders.

Weismann's group asserts Ivory on multiple occasions used his government email to further the business of the lands council.

Dan Burton, spokesman for the attorney general, said the complaint was received by the office Wednesday and its allegations are under review.

Last October, Reyes said there was insufficient evidence to support the group's allegations of fraud.

Email: amyjoi@deseretnews.com

Twitter: amyjoi16

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