There is one less mystery in the muddy 3rd District congressional race.
Daniel Darger, a Salt Lake attorney, told the Deseret News Tuesday he leaked documents about Karl Snow's involvement with Michael Strand to Republican John Harmer, Snow's primary election opponent, last spring."I've been watching these articles and kind of chuckling all summer," Darger said.
Daniel Darger is the brother of John Darger, owner of Unique Battery System. Daniel Darger said his brother doesn't know he was the source of the documents. Daniel Darger also shares office space with Bill Orton, the 3rd District Democratic candidate, and with attorney Ralph C. Petty, whom Darger called "a good family friend" of Snow's.
Petty represented Snow as a plaintiff in the bankruptcy of Mountainland Distributors. He also represented clients who sued Strand over a business matter.
This spring Daniel Darger learned that Orton planned to run for Congress. He also learned from Petty about Snow's candidacy.
Darger said he wanted to let out what he knew about Snow, but he "didn't want to let it out to Ralph (Petty, Snow's friend)."
Darger said he offered the material last spring to Orton, but Orton refused to use it. So Darger sent it to Harmer's campaign.
Orton has maintained throughout the campaign that unnamed individuals wanted him to make hay of the Strand/Snow connection but that he refused. Orton told the Deseret News Tuesday it was Daniel Darger who offered the material to him.
"I've refused every opportunity to get involved with that," Orton said.
Mickey W. Cochran, former campaign manager for Harmer, said he did receive two anonymous packets of documents about Snow and Strand; he thought the material came from John Darger.
Cochran said the Harmer campaign gave the packet to Snow and then when Snow did not release it in full to the public, Harmer's campaign anonymously released the documents to the press.
Darger was not amused by State Republican Chairman Richard Snelgrove's statement Monday that Darger told an independent attorneys' committee that `Karl Snow did nothing wrong.' That's blatantly false, Darger said.
"None of those guys (the attorneys) ever talked to me," Darger said.
If they had, he would have had quite a different story to tell, he said.
Darger said he advised his brother, John, not to get involved with Strand - that Strand was "a major bad character" and that anyone involved with Strand would "get taken."
"My brother's response was `No, you've got it wrong. Guess who I met at Mike Strand's office - Karl Snow. He is going to be a partner, a vice president, and help it get going,"' Darger said. "My brother was impressed. He thought he'd hit the big time now."
Of course, later the deal fell apart, Darger said. When it did, Darger got documents chronicling the failed merger.