State treasurer candidate Richard Ellis said Thursday he's making one last attempt to get his elections complaint against his primary opponent investigated before next Tuesday's election.
Ellis told the Deseret News his attorney will hand-deliver a request to Attorney General Mark Shurtleff's office today requesting he go forward with an investigation without waiting for a referral from Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert.
Herbert, who serves as the state's chief election officer, has refused to make a determination whether Ellis' allegations merit further investigation by the attorney general's office until after the primary election.
Ellis has accused his opponent, Rep. Mark Walker, R-Sandy, of offering to let him keep his job as chief deputy state treasurer at a substantially higher salary if he would drop out of the race.
Walker has denied the accusation made in a May 30 complaint filed with the lieutenant governor's office, although he has said he did meet with Ellis and told him that he had no intention of firing Ellis or anyone else in the treasurer's office if he is elected.
Ellis went all the way to the state Supreme Court in an unsuccessful attempt to force Herbert to decide whether the allegations should be referred to the attorney general's office to determine if an illegal offer was made.
"We think there's enough there that it warrants some further investigation," Ellis said today.
He would not speculate on whether the attorney general's office would agree to take on the case without waiting for Herbert's decision.
"You never know," Ellis said, acknowledging that little could be done in terms of investigating the allegations in the few days remaining before the election.
Shurtleff is a supporter of Walker.
Ellis released a copy Thursday of an e-mail to Herbert from Carl Empey, a Zions Bank vice president, that stated Ellis' complaint "is 100 percent accurate and factual." Empey said Walker, a former bank employee, had discussed the offer with him."Mr. Walker is not telling the truth by denying the conversations and the job offer that he was involved in," Empey said. Previous e-mails from Empey to Ellis describing the job offer, including a $56,000 raise to $160,000, had already been made public.
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