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Former Becker aide appointed to Planning Commission

Published April 23, 2014 2:42 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

With little fanfare, the Salt Lake City Council on Tuesday night voted 6-1 to approve Mayor Ralph Becker's appointment of his former campaign manager, Matt Lyon, to the city's Planning Commission.

The lone dissenting vote was Councilman Luke Garrott, who in a council work session earlier this month, challenged Lyon's appointment based on his close ties with Becker.

Matt Lyon presently is the executive director of the Utah Democratic Party. He also worked in the mayor's office before taking the Democratic Party post.

Garrott cast the relationship as one that provided the appearance of conflict of interest because the Planning Commission serves as a regulatory body for initiatives coming from the mayor's planning department.

Lyon, who was not present Tuesday night, had earlier told the council that he holds himself to a "high standard" and would have no trouble voting against any project that he felt didn't meet Salt Lake City's standards.

Pushed by Garrott, Lyon also told the council that neither he nor his staff had done any fundraising for Becker since 2011.