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Hush money may have violated election laws

Published: Saturday, March 13 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

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Morality and Ethics

I find it extremely sad and frightening that the legislature gave this man an ovation. Forgiveness comes from the Lord ultimately, and since he's LDS he need to seek the Church's forgiveness on this for his membership. Politically though he needs to be out of office and be honorable and resign and/or not run again. Funny how if this is an educator/teacher they would be dismissed, fired, and the DA would be seeking to see if charges can be brought up. A legislature in my opinion holds even a higher standard since they are the ones introducing and passing laws regarding the safe keeping of children. We all have our sins, but in this case, this man is unfit for public office. end of story.

Standing O

So why did all his peers stand up and given him an ovation. Maybe it was the heat of the moment...but I hope most of them make a statement indicating they were wrong for doing so.

As for Mr. Garn....come clean. Register on the sex-offender list and get some help.

Sam the Ham

@I have 2 rules12:48p.m.:

Rule #1 - Never go into a hot tub naked with someone when you are married (other than your spouse); and
Rule #2 - Never go into a hot tub naked with someone who is a minor...NEVER!!"]

Everybody's naked under their swim trucks... even in a hot tub.

Advice to minors... never get into a hot tub with a married person.

Scam Buster

Why can't members of our legislature be held to the same high standard that is expected of public workers? If a teacher or policeman went "hot tubbing" with an underage minor (even 25 years earlier) and then paid hush money as a result, the teacher or policeman would face prosecution, forced resignation from public service, and castigation and condemnation that would no doubt lead to the legislature passing harsher punishments. Yet when one of our elected officials does this, they get an invite by Speaker of the House, David Clark to not resign and then leads the chamber in a round of thundering, standing applause. This is an outrageous and egregious example of corruption that is rampant at the highest levels of state government. One set of rules for them and another set of rules for everyone else.

Disgusted

Why did the Legislature give this clown a standing ovation! That is absurd and embarrassing. Were they celebrating his conduct, including his lies?

Anonymous

Kevin Garn is the opportunist in the situation, not Cheryl Maher. She may have been wrong to take the money he offered to keep quiet, but according to the story she did not extort or ask for it. He only offered it up to save his own butt years after it happened! And for all you people condemming her here....SHE is the victim and Kevin Garn is the opportunist.

wrz

@@extortionist1:01p.m.:

["He is the one who committed a crime and was never prosecuted."]

When did it become a crime to get naked into a hot tub with a naked teen? His wife may have a legit beef but not the law.

["He's the one who paid the hush money."]

She's the one who committed extortion. She should be in jail for it... and for failing to pay income taxes on the extorted money.

CLAPPING

It was very dissappointing to see the Utah legislature stand and applaud Garn after hearing his story. Where do they get their ethics?

Anonymous

@what's up with Layton7:34a.m.

"He should do the right thing and step down."

Did Bill Clinton step down?

Resign

Mr. Garn should resign immediately. To be forgiven of one's wrongs and by God and by others does not include taking away basic consequences. The good and honorable acts committed in his life do not take away from the monumental harm and destruction done by this selfish and wicked act.

When you have a sexual relationship (naked = sexual) with a minor it is illegal. In my opinion people who break the law, and IN PARTICULAR those who commit sexual offenses against minors, should never be in public office, whether the offense occurred yesterday or 50 years ago. While we should forgive Mr. Garn, that does not mean his choice should be without appropriate consequence and in my opinion he should not represent the people of this state and he certainly should never have been given an ovation for his forced confession.

Were he truly contrite, he would have come forward with this information prior to an election and allowed the public to make a decision given all the facts about his character and decision making abilities.

My heart goes out to his victim, his family, and his constituents.

The usual

Re: Anonymous | 8:49 p.m. March 12, 2010
I believe Garn has spammed this web site saying lets just forgive him and forget it. I refuse to believe so many D News readers believe that he is fit to remain in office.

From past news stories, anytime a man from Utah is accused of having inappropriate relations with a minor, there is always the chorus of "We shouldn't judge.", "It's the girl's fault.", etc.

But anyone who is not male and from Utah who is accused of the same thing gets harsh judgment.

Rudy

Don't you wish there were cell phones a quarter of a century ago and used the way modern teens do? Then there would be no question about who is being totally truthful.

Hmmm

As far as the people who always want to blame the young girl instead of the man who should have the maturity to know better in stories like these; perhaps they have a few skeletons in their closets.

Keep donating

How much of the hush money came from campaign contributions? Of course in Utah you can use campaign money for anything - even hot tub encounters.

Harold

Mr. Garn,
Please just resign and spare our fine state the embarrassment.

Anonymous

I sure hope she gives back the money. Obviously she couldn't keep her part of the deal.. What does this say about her. At least show some integrity and giv e back the mkoney.

A few thoughts

I believe in repentance and forgiveness, but we also must be careful. To forgive does not mean to just trust someone who has done something to limit his or her trust. Although I believe he can repent, that doesn't mean he should not be punished by the law. Nor does it mean he should be allowed to keep his seat in the house.

Also, this is an example of why I now no longer call myself a "Republican". I now call myself a "conservative" instead. Although a few republicans are true conservative, there is a HUGE difference between the two terms now.

PROUD POLYGAMIST

Leave GARN alone!

True Conservative

If her charges are true, there are more victims out there. This story is not over, folks.

And I will NEVER vote for any legislator who applauded for Garn.

Matt

On the topic of extortion, we can learn a lesson from David Letterman's recent scandal. By facing the allegations head-on and truthfully, the accused party can difuse the situation and willingly face any legal or social consequences. Instead, if the accused party pays "hush money" to the accuser, then the accuser will never be satisfied, and will always feel that the accused owes them something. Mr. Garn should have willingly faced the consequences to his actions in 2002 when Maher was attempting to extort money from him because of his actions. After all, $150,000 only lasts for so long, but the truth will last forever.

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