Gov. Norm Bangerter reappointed most of his top administrators to a second term Friday, including his embattled economic development director.
He also added two new deputy chiefs of staff to work with local elected officials, political organizations and state residents.Economic Development Director Dave Adams was reappointed despite allegations made last week by legislative auditors that he may have violated state ethics laws by serving on the boards of private companies dealing directly with his department.
Bangerter said the audit had "exonerated" Adams. "They (auditors) pointed out there was no indication there had been a conflict, particularly a financial conflict," he said, noting Adams is not accused of having profited from his involvement with the Utah Sports Foundation and Better Utah Inc.
However, the audit referred to possible non-monetary conflicts of interest involving Adams and said the state may have shown favoritism in granting a contract to the Sports Foundation earlier this year. It also questioned, among other things, why economic development employees helped the foundation type its bid for the contract.
Bangerter said Adams has now resigned his positions with the companies, and he questioned whether it was wise not to allow state officials to serve on such boards.
"It's just a question of whether these two things come too close together," Bangerter said, pledging to study the issue further.
The only new department head the governor announced Friday was Dave Buhler, who will become director of the Department of Business Regulation. Bill Dunn, the former director, announced his retirement last week. Buhler managed Bangerter's successful come-from-behind re-election campaign earlier this year.
Only four departments will have different leadership under Bangerter's second term. In addition to Buhler, Bangerter recently announced that Doug Bodrero will become the new commissioner of public safety and that Eugene Findlay will direct the Department of Administrative Services.
Bangerter has yet to appoint a new director for the Department of Transportation.
His new deputy chiefs of staff will be Doug Bischoff, a former state senator, and Dixie Minson, who had been serving as director of consumer protection.
Bangerter said the new department heads now have the responsibility of deciding which division directors to keep.