Richfield's trouble-plagued mayor, Sue Marie Anderson Young, filed for bankruptcy late in December - just in time to avoid being one of the defendants ordered to pay damages in a federal civil suit.
Young, 50, is also a member of the Utah State Board of Regents and the Utah State Safe Drinking Water Committee.In a separate case over a year ago, Young and her son, Stephen, and her brother-in-law, Alan Young, agreed to pay restitution in exchange for Sevier County's dropping criminal fraud charges. They were charged with illegal transactions related to a profit-sharing fund owned by employees of the defunct L.A. Young Sons Construction Co.
The mayor and her son agreed to pay $20,000 each, while Alan Young said he would pay $40,000.
In the civil suit, U.S. District Chief Judge Bruce S. Jenkins has ordered judgment in favor of the plaintiff, Reliance Insurance Co., for the total amount of Reliance's losses, $3,152,102.68.
Those ordered to pay were the defunct L.A. Young Sons Construction Co., LAYS Rock Products Inc., American Building Corp., Alan G. Young, Saundra H. Young and Stephen A. Young.
The only defendant exempt from paying was Sue Marie Young, because the filing of a bankruptcy petition stays any other civil court action. She filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 20, 1988 - three days before Jenkins' ruling.
But Jenkins wrote that Reliance, a Philadelphia company, can seek to reopen the suit "to obtain relief against Sue Marie Anderson Young in the event said defendant's bankruptcy proceedings are dismissed or otherwise terminated without adjudicating plaintiff's claims against her."
Jenkins ruled without holding a trial on the 1987 suit, granting a summary judgment sought by Reliance. He made his ruling based on facts not disputed by the defendants.
The three defendant companies merged in 1984, Jenkins wrote.
In his 17-page decision, Jenkins describes the bonding relationship between Reliance and the Young company, dating back to 1984.
In August 1984, Reliance learned that L.A. Young Sons' former bonding institution, Aetna, had obtained a judgment of about $300,000 against the company for a claim Aetna had to pay on a bond, he wrote.
In 1985, the Young company offered to pledge real estate to Reliance as collateral for a loan, Jenkins noted.
"Reliance later learned that the property was property of the L.A. Young (Sons Co.) profit-sharing trust."
A letter dated Oct. 30, 1985, from a Reliance official said that company would be able to loan up to $3 million to the Young company, provided the loan proceeds would be deposited in the trust account and used to pay bonded obligations on Young projects that were bonded by Reliance.
Reliance made the loan, and the property was conveyed in trust for Reliance. Altogether, Reliance advanced more than $2 million. It also directly advanced $645,0000 to pay people who supplied labor and materials on projects that it bonded.
Reliance gave the Young company joint control over Reliance's own funds, Jenkins wrote.
"Reliance has determined that during 1986, L.A. Young (Sons Co.) failed to deposit $175,000 in bonded contract funds in the trust account and failed to deposit $70,000 in contract funds from the Green River project, a Reliance bonded project, into the trust account," Jenkins wrote.
He added that Charles W. Langfitt - identified in the ruling as being one of the Reliance representatives who were responsible for bond claims on L.A. Young Sons projects bonded by Reliance - requested immunity from prosecution for the profit-sharing transaction.
Jenkins wrote that Langfitt did this "out of concern for the power and influence of Sue Marie Young, the mayor of Richfield, and Alan G. Young in Sevier County."
In addition to paying people who supplied labor or material for company projects that Reliance bonded, Reliance incurred expenses of investigating, defending, litigating and compromising claims on the bonds.
In addition to payment of its losses, Reliance was awarded its court costs and 12 percent interest.