Dougall to skip inaugural ceremony, take oath in his office

Published January 8, 2013 8:48 am

Politics • Incoming state auditor wants to get early start on job.
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Utah's incoming state auditor, John Dougall, won't be taking the oath of office Monday during the elaborate ceremony in the Capitol rotunda alongside the governor and other elected leaders.

Dougall will be sworn in at his office a few hours earlier in an event that will be fitting of his campaign slogan — Frugal Dougall.

"I'm going to be sworn in at 8 o'clock in the morning so I can get three hours of work done before the governor's inauguration," he said. "Rather than sitting around and waiting, I'd rather get some work done."

Dougall said that, unlike Gov. Gary Herbert, who is already the governor, Dougall doesn't hold office and wants to officially be the auditor when he goes into the meetings that morning.

Dougall is scheduled to meet with his administrative assistant and review his schedule, then meet at 9 a.m. to review the audits that are under way and discuss the timelines for their completion.

He will still attend the inauguration at the Capitol Rotunda at 11 a.m., which will feature performances by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Herbert's third inaugural address. Herbert, Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, Attorney General-elect John Swallow and Treasurer Richard Ellis will all take the oath at the event.

"They've known from Day One that I was having my own separate swearing-in ceremony," said Dougall, who will not be on stage for the event, but instead plans to sit next to House Speaker Becky Lockhart and Senate President-elect Wayne Niederhauser. "I told [the governor] I'd be respectful and come to his inauguration, but it's not my inauguration."

Herbert's spokeswoman, Ally Isom, who also led the planning for the event, said that Dougall was welcome to participate in any of the ceremonies, but he chose not to.

"It's the historic opportunity to honor the office and the tradition of the offices, and we've certainly invited Mr. Dougall to participate in every component, but he just won't sit on stage," she said. "Any decision to be excluded would be Mr. Dougall's decision, but he's welcomed."

gehrke@sltrib.com

Twitter: @RobertGehrke