A citizens group says a 1985 letter from 3rd District congressional candidate Karl Snow to a local businesswoman who worked on his 1984 gubernatorial campaign shows he had more than a casual relationship with convicted stock swindler Michael Strand.
The group, Utahns for Ethical Government, scheduled a press conference Wednesday morning in the Capitol Building to elaborate on its charges against Snow. On Tuesday, Snow held his own press conference, attacking the citizens group.Scott Norton, spokesman for Utahns for Ethical Government, said the group's theme is: "If you're going to run for public office, you'd better have integrity." The group, which has 30 members, formed a little over a week ago.
Tuesday evening, the Deseret News received a copy of a June 5, 1985, letter from Snow to Peggy Fugal, who owns an advertising company in Provo. Snow disputed a $3,357 billing Fugal submitted after the 1984 campaign for "creative time expenses." In the letter, Snow says all billings were subject to prior approval except for "those items where we were given a quote and made a direct order . . . "
Snow refers Fugal to Michael Strand three times in the certified letter. Snow's letter says Strand had agreed to "evaluate the matter in terms of any moral commitment that the Snow for Governor Committee might have in the contested billing."Snow also stated that Strand, while supporting Snow's contention, had indicated "he might be prepared personally to make a contribution to this end."
"This is a casual relationship?" asked Norton.
Fugal said she met Strand at Snow's home in the spring of 1984 and that he'd given her "bad vibes." She refused to contact Strand, despite Snow's requests.
"A convicted felon determining if he (Snow) had a moral obligation?" Fugal said. She continued to seek payment from Snow.
"If Snow doesn't owe me money, why did he say Strand would pay off the debt, and why list it as a campaign contribution?" Fugal said.
Norton also said the letter was written one month after Percy Kalt, a former Brigham Young University professor, invested $25,000 in Global Oil, a penny stock, in 1985. Global Oil was a company promoted by Strand and which Strand and others planned to merge with another company, Unique Battery.
Kalt told the Deseret News that Snow "recommended the deal to me that led to my unfortunate circumstances." Kalt lost his investment in Global Oil and began threatening Strand. In 1989, Kalt fire-bombed Strand's home. He was convicted and served 60 days in jail for that crime.
Snow admits he investigated the two firms, considered buying stock and signed a preliminary organizational document for the merger but then backed out.
Strand offered Snow a directorship and 100,000 shares of Global Oil stock in late 1984-85. Snow says he declined that offer. However, 100,000 shares of the stock were issued in Snow's name in June 1985 - before, Snow says, he could turn down the directorship offer. He later signed the stock back over to Strand.
Snow has been cleared of involvement in the failed merger of Global Oil and Unique Battery by two independent investigations.