UUP candidates pledge to propose law to prevent future self-appointments
Seven United Utah Party candidates for the state legislature - Michele Weeks (HD 54), Stephen Walston (HD 41), Mark Russell (HD 49), Eric Chase (HD 61), Hillary Stirling (HD 57), Alex Castagno (SD 9), and Lee Houghton (SD 15) – have prepared a joint statement calling on Greg Hughes to resign from the board of Utah’s planned Inland Port. Hughes appointed himself the board as one of his final official acts as Utah’s Speaker of the House.
The statement reads as follows:
As candidates of the United Utah Party, we are committed to common-sense reform to restore the public’s faith in the integrity our state government. That faith was severely undermined by Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes’s self-appointment to the board of Utah’s Inland Port.
Beyond that self-appointment issue, Speaker Hughes now is declining to submit a conflict of interest form required by law because he claims that the law on conflict of interest regarding board members is ambiguous. He also admits that, as a real estate developer, he may have a conflict of interest.
Speaker Hughes never should have appointed himself to the position. The fact that he did so and now admits he might have a conflict of interest makes us suspicious about his motivation for appointing himself. The law is not ambiguous on this matter. He never should have appointed himself and, if he has a potential conflict of interest, he does not belong on the board.
Therefore, we call on Speaker Hughes to resign from the Inland Port Authority board immediately.
To prevent this from happening again, as members of the state legislature, we promise to introduce legislation to prevent future self-appointments.
In the meantime, Speaker Hughes has a moral duty to resign his position on the Inland Port Board and allow the rest of the board to choose a suitable replacement. This is the only course of action that can begin to repair the damage done by this egregious violation of the public trust.