Monday, July 07, 2008

Daggett County Voter Fraud update

(Hat Tip: JM Bell)

As I reported back in March, 5.4% of registered voters in Daggett County were charged with voter fraud.

This was after AG Mark Shurtleff drug his feet in the investigation.

Well, now the Daggett County Attorney has been fired, apparently for no reason, other than the fact that he was going to file more charges in the voter fraud case, including the county clerk and sheriff. (The Sheriff's race was the one where the fraud took place).

KSL has the story:

The vote was two to one. As for why Floyd Briggs and Henry Gutz voted to terminate Sidwell's contract, Briggs said, "More or less for a change in direction. Just try something different."

It's an answer county residents couldn't understand. Lisa Bennington said, "I find it very hard to believe there aren't personal feelings in these decisions."

Those personal feelings could involve the county's 2006 election fraud case. Many say Sidwell was looking into charging county clerk Vicky McKee and sheriff Rick Ellsworth with malfeasance of office, claiming they were in on the fix.

Because those two are close friends of Briggs, those same residents feel Briggs wanted to get Sidwell out of office before any charges could be filed. Gretchen Northcott said, "It really looks suspicious to me. I think as Bryan Sidwell digs deeper, he's finding new things, is what I'm supposing, and people are getting uncomfortable with that."

We asked commissioners Briggs and Gutz that very question. Briggs said, "No, that wasn't the reason. Like I commented today in the meeting, this wasn't a representation of the county as a whole."

Gutz said, "I'm not trying to cover anything. If there's additional investigating that goes on, it will happen."

Sidwell says he was just enforcing the laws, and if some in the county don't want the laws enforced, then he's not the right attorney for the job. "I believe that when people violate the laws, no matter who you are, the law needs to be enforced," he said.

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