Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Millard Co. election fight boiling over in two courts
First Published Aug 27 2014 05:35 pm • Last Updated Aug 27 2014 10:29 pm

A challenger in a disputed Millard County Commission race has asked a judge to hold the county clerk in contempt of court for not abiding by the judge’s order that the county hold a new Republican primary election.

Fourth District Judge Claudia Laycock ordered the county earlier this month to re-do the GOP primary election after seven improperly counted ballots and a voter turned away from the polling place cast doubt on incumbent Jim Withers’ five-vote win over challenger Jim Dyer.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The Attorney General’s office, on behalf of the Lieutenant Governor’s office, which manages state elections, filed an appeal to the Utah Supreme Court on Tuesday. That appeal challenges Laycock’s authority to overturn the election and demand a do-over, and asks the high court to declare Withers the victor.

An attorney for Dyer, meantime, asked Laycock in a filing Tuesday to hold the Millard County Clerk in contempt for failing to take steps to comply with the judge’s order and proceed with the repeat election.

"Because time is of the essence, the Court should require and compel the Millard County Clerk to schedule, organize and hold the new election as ordered," said the motion from Dyer’s lawyers.

"If there is any further delay, and a new election is not held, irreparable harm will occur in terms of depriving the voters of Millard County of the fundamental right to choose their elected leaders by legitimate election," the motion said.

However, state attorneys contend in their filing with the Supreme Court that Laycock overstepped her legal authority in ordering the new election. The lieutenant governor also contends that, because the county clerk was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, the judge did not have the statutory authority to order the clerk to conduct a new election.

"In no event, and under no statute, did Judge Laycock possess the authority to order a special election," wrote Assistant Attorney General Thom Roberts on behalf of Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox. "That order exceeds the trial court’s authority and constitutes abuse of discretion instead."

Laycock has until Sept. 3 to respond to the state’s motion, if she chooses to respond. Other parties, including attorneys for Dyer, are expected to seek permission to submit filings in the case, as well.

gehrke@sltrib.com


story continues below
story continues below

Twitter: @RobertGehrke



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.