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Rolly: Auditor Dougall keeps House Speaker Lockhart’s family close


| Tribune Columnist

First Published Mar 01 2013 01:01 am • Last Updated Mar 01 2013 07:45 am

When newly elected State Auditor John Dougall fired longtime government relations assistant Betsy Ross, speculation was rampant that it was retaliation for Ross’ opposition to Dougall’s earlier attempts to gut the Government Records Access and Management Act.

Dougall had sponsored the bill as a Republican state representative. But after it passed, the Legislature called it back and repealed it because of public outrage. Ross, as the auditor’s government relations assistant, was also chairwoman of the State Records Committee and opposed the bill.

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Dougall denied the retaliation accusations and said it was because Ross was not well-known among legislators.

Well, he solved that problem.

Dougall’s new government relations assistant is Emily Lockhart, the daughter of House Speaker Becky Lockhart.

Perhaps Dougall made the hire because he was impressed with the candidate’s credentials and abilities. But it probably didn’t hurt that when Dougall defeated longtime Auditor Auston Johnson in the Republican primary last year, it was with the help of about $7,000 in campaign contributions from PACs controlled by the speaker.

Forgotten star? » Former Utah High School basketball stars like Tyler Haws, of BYU, and Jordan Loveridge of the Utes are rightly getting a lot of local attention for their success at the college level. And, of course, the current Lone Peak basketball team has received a ton of ink for arguably being the best high school team in state history.

But few around these parts are aware of a 2010 Olympus High School graduate and Tribune first team all-stater that year who broke a school record for three-pointers and was named by ESPN as one of the three top performers in the nation last week.

Nicholas Paulos, who plays for the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, hit 10 three-point shots against the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, the third best three-point effort in the history of the Southern Conference.

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Looks like The Tribune got that one right three years ago.

Catch-22 » Here’s one way local governments can increase their revenues without raising taxes: Make it impossible to pay parking fines in a timely matter so the late fees keep going up.

That happened to Scott Williams recently when he and his wife didn’t notice the no-parking sign on the shoulder of the entrance road to the Spruces campground while on a snowshoeing excursion in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

They didn’t notice the sign because it was covered in snow, but that’s not what irked him.

The ticket instructed him to appear between five and 14 days of the violation at the Salt Lake County complex and if they failed to appear by day 14, "the court may issue a warrant for your arrest."

No problem. They had every intention of paying the fine on time. But when they went on the website listed on the ticket, it was a commercial site with no information about the amount of the fine or how to pay the ticket.

Williams finally found the correct Justice Court site using Google, but his citation number was never listed, so there was no way to pay.

On day 14, fearing arrest, they traveled personally to the county complex to pay the fine, but were told the officer hadn’t entered the citation into the system and they would have to come back later — meaning they would be in violation of the time requirement.

"They are usually behind," the clerk smiled.


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