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Not criminal?
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

According to the news story "No charges against ex-Utah liquor bosses named in audit" (Tribune, Dec. 8), there is insufficient evidence to press charges against Dennis Kellen, former director of the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Kellen has been accused of funneling no-bid contracts to his son's business, Flexpak, to the tune of $456,000. All of those 250 purchases were miraculously just below the $1,000 threshold that would have required greater scrutiny and competitive bidding.

Kellen was paying Flexpak "premium prices" for its product. How can such a cozy deal between father and son not be a violation of the state purchasing law?

No wonder that wages paid to DABC employees are, as The Tribune reported last July, "not only among the lowest in the state but also is dead last when compared with all other states that operate retail liquor outlets." Perhaps if Kellen had not been so nefariously intent on padding his son's business, a few dollars may have remained to pay all those part-time employees a more competitive wage.

Who says crime doesn't pay?

Kirt Williamson


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