Saying he has accomplished what he intended, David W. Adams, executive director of the Utah Department of Community and Economic Development, announced his resignation Friday.
Adams, who has served in that post since being appointed by Gov. Norm Bangerter Jan. 16, 1985, submitted his resignation letter to the governor several days ago."I would like to take a long vacation," Adams told reporters Friday in his office at the State Office Building. "After that, I have several business interests that were on hold during the time I held this position and they need some attention." He will remain on the job until a replacement is found.
Bangerter released a statement saying that when he made the appointment, Adams agreed to stay for three years. Bangerter said that last year he asked Adams to remain until the effort to have Salt Lake City host the Winter Olympics was well on its way.
During the more than four years Adams served as department director, Bangerter said economic development in Utah increased and the economy has improved because of several programs started during Adams' tenure.
Adams, who was a partner in First Intermountain Development Inc. when he was called to public service, came under fire during last year's gubernatorial campaign from candidates Ted Wilson and Merrill Cook and short-time candidate Jon Huntsman. "We wanted to make economic development a big issue in the campaign and any criticism that I received goes with the territory, " Adams said.
"I have no animosity toward these people because I have been friends for many years with Ted and have come to know Jon very well," said Adams. He said some negative perceptions about what the Bangerter administration was trying to accomplish on economic development changed as the campaign wore on.
Adams said he and his staff have made hundreds of economic-development speeches, attracted several new businesses to Utah, established an office to boost federal procurement and improved the rural-development program.
Asked about a legislative audit ago that outlined an apparent conflict of interest by Adams serving on the boards of the Utah Sports Foundation and Better Utah Inc., he said the audit outlined some deficiencies and changes were made.
Adams resigned from both boards and last December members of the Utah Economic Development Board said they shared the blame for any criticism Adams may have received because they asked him to serve on both boards. The audit said nobody profited from the relationship, but the state may have shown favoritism in granting a contract to the sports foundation.