Two former state officials and a current one have agreed to pay Salt Lake architect Ronald L. Molen $50,000 to settle a $2 million defamation suit Molen filed against them four years ago.

Molen, who designed the controversial state Social Services Building at 120 N. Second West, said that the officials smeared his reputation and interfered with his business by their comments about the building.The defendants are J. Edwin Kee, former head of administrative services under Gov. Scott Matheson; Ronald L. Aspgren, former head of the Division of Facilities Construction and Management, and Edward Itchon, now an arson investigator in the state fire marshal's office.

The state agreed to pay Molen the projected cost of trying the case, although the defendants said the case was without merit. Molen said he accepted the settlement because "after four years I was exhausted."