SALT LAKE CITY — Continuing a multiday political barrage, Salt Lake County Republicans on Monday took another shot at Democratic Mayor Ben McAdams and his involvement with Mountain Accord.
Salt Lake County GOP member Mike Edwards, a West Valley City resident, filed a complaint with the Utah Attorney General's Office, requesting an investigation into allegations that the Mountain Accord and McAdams, chairman of its executive committee, have been violating procurement laws.
Republican Salt Lake County mayor hopeful Dave Robinson was not at Monday's news conference to announce the complaint submission, but Edwards said the complaint was following up on allegations Robinson made last week.
Robinson has alleged that Mountain Accord officials awarded no-bid contracts to consultants who have supported McAdams' campaign. He also accused Mountain Accord leaders of violating Utah's open meetings law.
Edwards' attorney, former county prosecutor Kent Morgan, declined to discuss any specific examples of violations by Mountain Accord, saying "we'll leave it to the attorney general to look at the parties and what they did."
McAdams and Mountain Accord program manager Laynee Jones have dismissed Robinson's accusations as unfounded political attacks meant to stir up votes for the November election.
"My opponent, Dave Robinson, is a canyons-watershed developer with a long history of wasting taxpayer dollars using frivolous lawsuits and baseless allegations to extort development concessions," McAdams said in a statement Monday.
Robinson is associated with the Cardiff Canyon Owners Association, which filed a lawsuit against Mountain Accord earlier this month, claiming the group has violated open meetings laws. Robinson has also represented property owners who have waged battles with Salt Lake City over water rights within the canyons.
Jones said Mountain Accord posts its meeting agendas on its website, but because it's not an official governmental entity, there's no way for meeting notices to be published through the state's website.
"I am proud of the work done by Mountain Accord — a bipartisan group of elected officials, environmental stakeholders and thousands of members of the public," McAdams said.
More than 20 private and public groups have collaborated on Mountain Accord, an effort to develop a long-term plan to preserve the Wasatch Mountains while also developing transit solutions to keep its recreational area an economical boon for the state.
"I am committed to running a positive campaign about my vision for the future of Salt Lake County, and I’m disappointed that this partisan politicking continues," the Democratic mayor added.
However, several top GOP leaders and Mountain Accord supporters — House Speaker Greg Hughes, Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan, Draper Mayor Troy Walker and Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore — released a joint statement later Monday defending McAdams.
"The smears against Mountain Accord as part of a political campaign don't stop at Mayor McAdams," the statement said. "To make allegations against Ben McAdams is not only wrong, it undermines the incredible work done by policymakers in a bipartisan way to address issues facing our constituents, regardless of political party."
Dan Burton, spokesman for the Utah Attorney General's Office, said the office will review the complaint as it does every complaint it receives before deciding whether to investigate further.