BUZZ: Justin Miller charged with communications fraud; resignation imminent

Updated with statements from House Democratic Leadership, Speaker Greg Hughes, and Justin Miller’s resignation statement.


With DA Troy Rawlings announcing charges today, Justin Miller‘s resignation resigned at 9:30 AM from the Utah House of Representatives may be imminent, ending the saga that began with a recording by Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams one year ago.

Justin Miller to be charged; resignation imminent
Utah House Member Justin Miller (Democrat, Millcreek)

Sources indicate that the Davis County prosecutor will announce that Miller will plead guilty to communications fraud.

Miller was accused of stealing approximately $30,000 from the McAdams for Mayor campaign while he was campaign manager. In a recording made just prior to the 2014 election, Miller appears to acknowledge that he had taken the money. McAdams released the recording earlier this year, after Miller had already been elected to the Utah House from District 40 and completed the 2015 Legislative Session. Because of a conflict of interest, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, a Democrat, asked Rawlings to prosecute the case.

Miller released the following statement in resigning from Utah House:

“I understand the charges against me, and I take full responsibility for the mistakes I have made. My failure to communicate in a timely and transparent manner led to the loss of trust with my friend and colleague, Mayor McAdams. While this mistake occurred prior to my legislative service, I believe elected officials should be held to a higher standard. It is that standard that has led me to choose this difficult, but necessary course. Today I resign my position as elected Representative of House District 40.
“While there is no way to change my unfortunate choice, I am working to making it right. I am actively engaged with leaders at the legislature to ensure the positive changes I have helped to bring about for my Millcreek constituents will endure. I am continuing to cooperate with the ongoing federal investigation into Salt Lake County. Most of all I am taking this time away from public service to give my family back the balance and peace they deserve.
“I am humbled by the compassion and outpouring of support from my Millcreek community in these last months of uncertainty. To them I say I am sorry and ask for their forgiveness. While I may no longer be in the legislature, I will continue to fight for our community and our state.
“My family and I ask that our privacy be respected through this time. We thank all those who have and continue to support us.”

In response to the resignation, Speaker Greg Hughes released the following statement:

“I am disappointed to learn that Representative Miller has been charged with a crime.  Although these actions pre-date his arrival to the Legislature, as elected officials it is our job to be accountable for our actions and respect the integrity of the institution for which we’ve been elected. Representative Miller has made it clear to me that he is cooperating with the proper officials and taking responsibility for his actions.  I respect his decision and accept his resignation.  Please remember that he has a family and respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

The Utah House Democratic leadership responded to Miller’s resignation with the following statement:

“It is good that Representative Miller has finally reached the same conclusion that we reached months ago – it is best for House District 40 and the people in the state of Utah for him to resign. This is the responsible thing to do. Ethical government is of the utmost importance to the House Democratic Caucus. The work ahead of us as legislators can now move forward without distraction.”

With Miller’s resignation, Utah House District 40 will need a replacement to complete Miller’s term. Utah Democratic Party delegates will vote in a special election on who to forward to Governor Gary Herbert to appoint to complete Miller’s term. While several names have floated over the preceding months, Lynn Hemingway, who held the seat prior to retiring, is expected to be the choice of Democratic insiders.



Justin Miller

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