The head of the state's consumer protection office is considering how much to fine the U.S. Olympic Committee for letting its fund-raising permit lapse for nearly three years.
But although she could charge the USOC as much as $1,000 for each time it solicited contributions, Utah Division of Consumer Protection Director Francine Giani said she won't be too tough on the organization."We'll try to work with them. We want to bring them into compliance," Giani said. "I would go lenient on them just because they have no previous history" of fund-raising violations.
The USOC's permit to raise funds in Utah as part of its national effort to make money for Olympic athletes was suspended in September 1995 after the organization failed to submit the necessary renewal information.
Paperwork was submitted by the USOC on Monday, but Giani said more information has been requested. She has 10 working days to decide what the USOC's punishment should be.
The problem was discovered during a routine check of a solicitation permit from a telemarketing firm that's doing work for the USOC. A top official of the Colorado Springs-based USOC is in Utah this week to resolve the matter.
Giani said she was told that was simply an oversight. "That's a little hard for me to swallow," she said. "Good grief. Two years ago we got the Olympics. It should have been fresh on their minds."
Bob Henrie, the USOC's fund-raising chairman in Utah, said Tuesday he was unaware of the issue. Henrie said around $250,000 has been raised in Utah for the USOC in the past four years.