The Utah Supreme Court has set a June 6 hearing on a petition by a Manila lawyer who wants to be Daggett County attorney.
The petition by Wayne Searle challenges a law enacted this year that treats the elective position of county attorney in smaller counties differently than others.The new law says that when only one resident of the county applies for the office, the candidate's name shall appear in a separate part of the ballot, the candidate's party affiliation shall be designated and he shall be subject to a "yes" or "no" vote.
If there are more "no" than "yes" votes, the county commission can then appoint the county attorney, who does not necessarily need to be a resident of the county.
Searle's petition says the unique ballot treatment amounts to unequal treatment of those seeking the post and is unconstitutional.
Searle has been trying to become Daggett County attorney for two years.
The current county attorney, appointed by the county commission, is Dennis Judd, a Uintah County resident.
The Daggett County Commission has refused Searle's demands that he be named county attorney because he is the only licensed lawyer who resides in Daggett County.