Skeletons in the Closet: failing to vet candidates

Lately, Utah has seen a rash of candidates win public office while concealing a trouble past.

First, John Swallow led the Utah Legislature on the most expensive legislative investigation in Utah history, bringing down both his and Mark Shurtleff’s political career before it was over. The criminal trial is ongoing.

In Utah County, Greg Graves earned the Republican nomination before he was discovered to have filed multiple bankruptcies (and much later was implicated in the Ashley Madison scandal). Utah County is still reeling.

Then, Utah Democrats watched in horror as Justin Miller, a freshman in the Utah House of Representatives and former campaign manager for Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, admitted in an audio recording made and released by McAdams that he had taken money from the campaign and had not returned it. The case was turned over to the DA, Democrat Sim Gill, who kicked it up to his counterpart in Davis County, Republican Troy Rawlings for investigation.

And the latest?  Two candidates for Draper City Council are campaigning with questionable records in their past. Justin Poirier has a list of criminal charges listing back to the early 2000s.  Meanwhile, Michele Weeks (formerly Martin) is married to Kenneth L Weeks, who while they were dating, was indicted by a grand jury (and later plead guilty)on Securities and Exchange Commission charges for fraudulent activities conducted and cited from Michele’s New York City address.  A Facebook page posts a series of Securities and Exchange Commission decisions regarding Kenneth Weeks’ fraudulent activities.

With Miller’s resignation still anyone’s guess, the Democratic Party of Utah unwilling to push him out, and the major parties ability to push out candidates with skeletons in the closet by SB 54, the voter has become the best and last resort is to vet candidates.

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