Rolly: New Utah prosecutors leader uses Mormon verse, blonde joke

By PAUL ROLLY

The Salt Lake Tribune

Published: May 23, 2014 09:12AM
Updated: May 23, 2014 09:14AM
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Paul Rolly

Bob Church, a former prosecutor for Orem, has been appointed director of the Utah Prosecution Council, a statewide advocacy and training organization for public attorneys.

In the council’s recent newsletter announcing his appointment and including a profile, Church listed as his favorite quote: “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.”

He doesn’t identify the source, but it is an LDS scripture verse — from Doctrine and Covenants 82:10.

At least it’s not this Thomas Jefferson quote: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,” which appeared on the Utah attorney general’s website until I wrote about it.

Church also listed two of his favorite stories from his experiences as a prosecutor. One was about a mother who testified during a sentencing hearing about the negative impact on her by her son’s criminal activity. The judge gave the son six months in jail.

When he was being led away, she told him she loved him and would visit him. He responded by calling her a “f-ing b--ch.”

His other favorite story was about a young woman who, when she was handed her criminal complaint, was instructed by the judge to look in the upper left-hand corner to verify that her information was correct.

So she looked in the upper left-hand corner — of the courtroom.

“And, yes, she was blonde,” Church noted.

So in recalling two of his favorite courtroom stories, the new head of this prosecutors association points to a mother being disparaged and a dumb-blonde joke.

And, yes, he is from Utah County.

Granite is No. 1 • Granite School District has stirred controversy over its standardized testing because it has used a formative assessment test, called Acuity, as a way to measure student progress in certain subjects toward the end-of-the-year SAGE test, which is administered statewide.

Granite is the only Utah district that uses the thrice-yearly Acuity test. Critics complain the extra testing takes too much time away from classroom instruction and burns out students.

Granite sent a notice this week to its educators, saying it is scrapping the Acuity test next year. But it is replacing it with a similar formative assessment test operated by SAGE.

Granite spokesman Ben Horsley said the state is offering that periodic assessment testing for free, so the district doesn’t have to contract with Acuity any more.

But the criticism of the extra testing may have merit.

The Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel recently released a study requested by the Legislature’s Education Interim Committee that estimates the amount of class time, in hours, spent on testing per year in each school district.

Not all the Utah districts reported their numbers. But of the 14 that did, Granite had by far the most.

According to the report, Granite’s students spent an average of 20.33 hours doing standardized test.

Jordan finished second with 12.40 hours, followed by Ogden at 9.83.

Iron County logged the fewest hours (3.38).

Perfect timing • Rep. Jon Cox, R-Ephraim, posted a dilemma he encountered on his Facebook page Wednesday after attending the Legislature’s interim meetings at the Utah Capitol.

“Got through some traffic up in Salt Lake only to be greeted by this as soon as I crossed into Sanpete.”

He then shows a video he shot while driving off a herd of sheep in his way on the highway.

He took the video, clearly from his car, just days after a new law took effect, restricting cellphone use while driving.

prolly@sltrib.com