SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Supreme Court on Thursday denied a petition from Salt Lake County Auditor Gregory P. Hawkins, who is trying to hasten a resolution in his lawsuit against the county over budgeting functions.

Hawkins sued after the Salt Lake County Council voted in November to remove "budget officer" from his portfolio of responsibilities and make the mayor the county's budget officer.

Third District Judge Sandra Peuler on Nov. 28 denied a temporary restraining order to block the budgeting shift, and Hawkins filed a petition for emergency relief with the state Supreme Court two weeks later.

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Christine M. Durham signed the court's order Thursday, which says only that "the petitions are denied."

Hawkins said it would have been nice for the Supreme Court to hear the matter because it could have been a shortcut past the back-and-forth and appeals that could come from a battle in district court.

But Hawkins said he wasn't surprised by Thursday's action.

"You take what you have and move to the next step," he said, addressing the motion by the county to dismiss his lawsuit. Hawkins' office has a Jan. 2 deadline to respond to that motion.

"We're just slogging through the long litigation process," he said.

Neither Mayor Peter Corroon nor District Attorney Sim Gill could be reached Thursday afternoon to comment on the Supreme Court's decision.


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