Former UTA board member made 'millions' on land deal near Draper rail stop

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  • pepperdcutie DALLAS, TX
    Sept. 21, 2011 10:55 a.m.

    Story by John Daley....surprise surprise. For people who are highly educated I am hoping you did your research first or after reading this article. It is unfortunate that the news is so one-sided in Utah. The wealthy stimulate the economy. If you aren't making the money somebody has to, right?

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    Hey he just wants to get rich enough to lower his taxes.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 8:22 p.m.

    We need mass transit. Without it, (as NeilT above alludes to)people with disabilities, whether mental or physical, will not be able to get to work. That means someone who is otherwise employable but can't drive, will be stuck at home collecting welfare, social security disability, etc.

    I ride buses 3-4x per week and I think for the most part the drivers are excellent. The drivers tell me suggestions THEY have made to management. But, it turns out if its not managements idea, its NOT a good idea. All of us probably are familiar with that scenario.

    Our elected officials, both mayors and state legislature SHOULD "step up to the plate" to replace ALL of the upper management at UTA and find a better way to appoint board members who aren't out to make a buck at taxpayers expense.

    Elected officials can fix UTA if they get the ambition. But I'm convinced UTA NEVER WILL solve their problems.

  • P. Kersey SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 8:14 p.m.

    I sure hope the investigation looks into Mr. Diehl's connections to local political officials and how they also profited from his many land/business deals. Of the approximately 488 square miles comprising Salt Lake County, I wonder how Mr. Diehl knew which 5 acres to purchase?

  • dlw7 LOGAN, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 7:40 p.m.

    Whatever happen to honesty and transparency with government officials? There were times when an official would step down in a situation like this. Today money and gain rules supreme. Thousands of people out of work, families struggling to get by and this greedy man walks away with 24 million dollars and the officials of UTA and UDOT says "no harm no foul". Terrible!!

  • moldcore WOODS CROSS, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 6:22 p.m.

    Some one here needs to define the word made. To me that means a profit of a certain amount above the cost of the property, improvements, etc. If he made 24 million in profits then there needs to be an investigation as to when the property was purchased originally. Its all about the timing. Mr. Diehl really sounds like a slick Wiley with no conscience. Isnt this the same guy who uses loop holes to cheat our schools out of millions by avoiding property taxes? The county should stop giving him or any developer building permits and business licenses until they pay up in full.

    I dont have a problem with anyone making money on land deals, even if its taxpayer money as long as they dont use their position to influence that sale and a fair market value is paid. Unfortunately this is not looking good.

  • Vince the boonies, mexico
    Sept. 20, 2011 5:19 p.m.

    Just close the doors on this UTA boondoogle travesty and replace it with another organized supervisory entity with people after extensive background checks. Then run several aduits yearly of operating costs and personnel involved. Anyone even questionable as to self serving should be terminated at once. Just write the rules, regulations and operating mantra into company bylaws, anyone caught not adhering to be released immediately.

  • lagalong MIDVALE, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 5:11 p.m.

    Not Surprised At All! But what is disturbing is that some of the employees (both at top management level and some not so "top") usually have known about what has been going on, but have been afraid to speak up(blow the whistle) for fear of serious reprisals. This is happening, not just at UDOT or UTA, but also in other departments in State Government. And when you question the goings on, you are threatened with termination or worse! ONLY IN UTAH.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 5:03 p.m.

    I work for UTA as a driver. A lot of the criticism against UTA is very unfair. Most bus riders are disabled, senior citizens, low income, minors, students, and downtown workers who commute to and from the city. Many of our customers are no position to own and operate automobiles. UTA provides service to the ski resorts for both skiers and resort workers and our resort buses buses are often filled to capacity. Every UTA rider is one less auto on the road which in turn reduces congestion and pollution. I realize I am off track as this does not pertain to the board member. I felt a need to defend UTA. UTA like all mass transit agencies is subsidized. You can't have mass transit here or anywhere without subsidies. Trax trains are usually full during peak hours. UTA provides a valuable service to the community. Just anyone with a disability or a student who can survive without owning an automobile thanks to UTA.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 4:51 p.m.

    GoodGuyGary | 10:09 a.m. Sept. 20, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Obviously someone knows something is going on at a certain location and took benefit of the information. In the business world, it is called insider trading. Even Martha Stewart got sent to jail for like 150K. So, for 24M, I think some actions should be taken.

    Lots of assumptions in there. Martha took advantage of information not available to the general public. If Mr. Diehl's info was public, and he didn't act on it until it was public, no harm, no foul.

    If he acted on information before it was public, then not only the public, but anyone disadvantaged because of that knowledge, has a case.

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    Sept. 20, 2011 2:53 p.m.

    The State of Utah is never going to handle this issue properly. If any federal dollars were allocated to the development of this project (and I believe that was the case), someone needs to get the U.S. government involved. They seem to be the only entity that is willing to prosecute the big stuff here in the State of Utah.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 2:43 p.m.

    Are we really surprised? UTA and UDOT own this state.

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 2:31 p.m.

    To properly do their jobs, UTA board members should avoid even the appearance of impropriety. They have a fiduciary duty to the public.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 2:21 p.m.

    "thiscannotbetrue" As a conservative I agree with you wholeheartedly. The nonsense that has been going on at UTA just seems to go on and on and on.......

    I would add that I think ALL upper management should also be replaced. Hire new attorneys also.

    The UTA "board" (I use the term loosely)has done nothing except rubber stamp whatever management wants. THATS WHY the salaries at management have gotten so astronomical.

    UTA is too important for our transportation needs, besides being so expensive tax wise that taxpayers should have to put up with their nonsense.

  • thiscannotbetrue SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    I can tell you for a fact that when Mr. Diehl's "term" on the UTA Board had expired, he was shifted to represent another municipality so that the board could keep him on another term. The fact that he and Bruce Jones (UTA attorney) were in collusion on the Cottonwood Heights Tavaci project, and that Greg Hughes was at the CH Council meetings in support of Terry during the scandal should speak volumes. When board members cried as his departure (reported by the Tribune), one only has to wonder why they would ask him to recuse himself when an obvious conflict of interest was presented. The entire board needs to be replaced with knowledgable citizens. Get rid of the politicians, the developers and "conflicted" members!!

  • Let's be real Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 12:57 p.m.

    There is so much buck passing, it would make Harry Truman ("the buck stops here") dizzy. Usually when something smells like a conflict of interest in this case, it is a good idea to run away from it. Terry made sure he ran away but too late, after he make up to maybe $24 million? How much he sold if for is not our business? When, in the end, taxpayers paid or will pay for it, you bet its our business. As for buck passing with Waddoups and others in the legislature; do you wonder why we don't trust you? They are so busy picking each others pockets in this entire deal that I am not sure anyone knows how much they actually still have in their purses. Waddoups has his own mess with his property company to deal with. Throw the bunch of them in jail and let them prove their innocence.

  • plyxply SLC, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 12:42 p.m.

    this would explain how UTA got their east side Draper TRAX line approved despite the overwhelming opposition against it by Draper residents. If UTA had the Draper mayor and likely the city council on the payroll it makes sense why they approved it despite the clear opposition of Draper residents.

  • lket Bluffdale, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    rifleman is anti democratic, and anti working class, and what the rich do is okay because they are rich. that is why our country is in a mess. no checks on what anyone does. thats why we should get rid of the parties and go with straight people that do what they are there to do. change the tax system no income tax but federal sales tax only. then we all pay taxs and no loop holes. we would be dept free quickly without tax codes.

  • SpanishImmersed Mesa, AZ
    Sept. 20, 2011 12:19 p.m.

    What is UTA ridership (load factor %) on its buses and light rail system? How many empty seats are carried over how many miles for how many years?

  • Finehomes Lehi, Utah
    Sept. 20, 2011 12:03 p.m.

    What a bunch of whiners....the guy made a legitimate sale....big deal. Its probably just the poor complaining about the rich, as usual.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 11:53 a.m.

    I am a little shocked that some of the people I thought would post on this issue and who would be complaining the loudest have not posted at all. This, like the I-15 rebuild in Utah County, all smack of those on the inside taking care of those who scratch their backs. Where is Senator Stephenson with his outrage concerning this? Where are the other members of the Utah Republican Party leadership on Capitol Hill views on this? I will tell you where they are. On the beach sipping non-alcoholic beverages congratulating themselves for being upset with public education and President Obama rather than righting their own ship. Amazing.

  • Brightenpath Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 11:02 a.m.

    Let Terry Diehl do jail time, and quite a bit, to teach him and others like him a lesson.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 10:29 a.m.

    For as many fiscal conservatives who live in Utah, I would think there would be more outrage over wasted public funds.

    Otherwise, you Tea Partiers are speaking out both sides of your mouth.

    As a fiscal conservative, I hope heads roll on this one.

  • Peter Coyotl West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 10:24 a.m.

    Seek to understand wrote:

    "And Senator Pat Jones' husband Dan Jones is our major state opinion pollster. Any conflicts there?"

    Dan Jones has never made $24 million off a deal using his wife's influence as an elected official. Poor comparison.

    Seek to understand also wrote:

    "This is not Chicago."

    True, in Chicago they actually arrest and convict people who break the law. Illinois has two former governors in prison. In Utah the politicians bend the law to shield themselves and their corrupt friends. Like when UDOT voted a second time to assure that the company that donated over $80 thousand to the governor won the multi-billion dollar road construction bid. UDOT the quietly paid millions to the company that won the bid before the second shady vote.

    In Utah there is never a conflict of interest as long as one says they have a conflict of interest. Imagine if someone robbed a bank and was absolved by simply revealing that he is robbing a bank. No illegality there. He revealed he was robbing a bank.

    Only in Utah. I know the moderators will not approve this post for no reason other than they do not like it.

  • GoodGuyGary Houston, TX
    Sept. 20, 2011 10:09 a.m.

    Obviously someone knows something is going on at a certain location and took benefit of the information. In the business world, it is called insider trading. Even Martha Stewart got sent to jail for like 150K. So, for 24M, I think some actions should be taken.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 20, 2011 9:55 a.m.

    Re: Irony Guy | 7:50 a.m. Sept. 20, 2011
    Strain on a gnat and swallow a camel much?

    You must have forgotten about Boston's Big Dig. The project began in 1982 with a completion schedule of 1998 and a budget of $2.8 billion. The final portion of the project was completed in 2007 and it will have cost $22 billion when it is finally paid for in 2038. They only missed their completion schedule by 9 years. On July 10, 2006 a concrete ceiling panel weighing 3 tons fell on a car and killed Milena Del Valle. Typical result when you mix liberals and government.

  • kates DRAPER, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 9:15 a.m.

    Why was a developer allowed on the UTA Board in the first place??? No less THIS particular developer? The minute any of us who had been in Draper for any length of time heard of the appointment we knew bad things were inevitable. PLEASE follow this investigation through and look clear back to the beginning to include the selection process for the UTA Board.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 9:04 a.m.

    Is it just my imagination, or is Mr. Diehl's name popping up with all sorts of controversial deals all over the Salt Lake valley? Where Mr. Diehl ends up with huge financial gains and taxpayers are left with the bills?

    Once may be a "conflict" but more than that seems like a pattern.

    Any further characterization of this guy's behavior would probably not pass the censors.

    AG Shurtleff, start the investigations now!

    And, Cottonwood Heights Council- please do not approve this guy's latest scheme which is pending before you!

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 9:01 a.m.

    This distasteful situation at UTA has been known for years. Why is it taking so long to do anything about it?

    The entire public is insulted by Diehl's attorney's response to responsible questions.

  • Ok Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 20, 2011 8:59 a.m.

    Stop the corruption and waste of taxpayer money. End UTA, it is not worth the cost, and it is very expensive, in more ways than one.

  • XelaDave Salem, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 8:36 a.m.

    Is it just me or is Utah looking more and more like Texas every day? Or maybe just maybe Texas learned it from us.

  • sodiedog Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 8:19 a.m.

    And the guy is personally insulted by a question. Wow. Shocked, shocked I say!

  • Still Blue after all these years Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 8:14 a.m.

    The UTA has been a rogue organization for years. Very little oversight and very little expertise. Apparently, the board can't figure out how the UTA can be profitable but they can figure out how themselves can make a lot of money.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 8:03 a.m.

    How do you get a seat on that board?

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Sept. 20, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    Big developers in Utah feed without shame at the public trough. I predict the new Timp highway will take many, many years to complete, with cost overruns and delays quietly funded by legislative collusion. . . . just as 201 in SLC took 13 years to complete. The Greeks built the Parthenon in 9 years! Of course, they didn't have a developer-dominated legislature . . .

  • Seek to understand Sandy, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 7:23 a.m.

    I can just hear it coming. Now dozens of posters are going to assume this transaction was corrupt just because someone made money off a legitimate deal, transacted via the competitive marketplace, with public information. This is not like Chicago. There is no evidence of underhanded dealing, conspiracy, bribery, or misuse of public information.

    In Utah, because we have many appointed boards, where volunteers who are smart and capable (usually business owners) are serving on these boards, there will be times when their business and volunteer efforts will connect. It happens frequently and is not evidence of some big "problem" with the way we do business as a government. The only other option is to have a large, central government control everything (like in the former USSR) without public input.

    The controls we have in place are related to disclosure of conflicts - which according to the article and the Attorney General, were followed in this case by all parties.

    Conflicts of interest do not necessarily mean there is something unethical going on. They are a reflection of our form of self-government.

    And Senator Pat Jones' husband Dan Jones is our major state opinion pollster. Any conflicts there?

  • Considerthis WEST JORDAN, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 6:41 a.m.

    Or like insider trading. We disallow individuals with information gained by virtue of their "insider" status from profiting from the knowledge that the general public does not have. Why should a UTA Board member be allowed to profit in the manner alleged? Moreover, considering that UTA will never recover its development costs and cannot cover even its operating costs, WE, THE PEOPLE, are bankrolling his profit. If the laws do not prohibit this abuse of his trust, we should change the law.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 20, 2011 5:56 a.m.

    Sounds like the kind of things that might be done in Chicago. The Solyndra scandal for example.

  • Trueman Draper, Utah
    Sept. 20, 2011 4:59 a.m.

    Wasn't Darrell Smith the mayor of Draper City also a UTA board member?

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Sept. 20, 2011 1:21 a.m.

    This is what happens when you lay off so many people, the investigative team is understaffed, government malfeasance will run wild. Hire back some people D news.

    BTW, those cheering on the death of newspapers need to realize that stories like this will be uncovered less and less and some thing will attempted to be slid by the public like the 13 Million Herbert gave out to do no work.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 12:30 a.m.

    What else is new? Had this one figured out long ago. How come it too the Deseret News this long to write about it? It's like closing the barn door after all the cows and horses have escaped.