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Former lawmaker — who drinks ‘coffee, water and occasionally alcohol’ — appointed to Utah liquor board

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) Rep. Steve Eliason, Sandy, and Rep. Sophia DiCaro, West Valley City, at the State Capitol Building in Salt Lake City, Tuesday March 3, 2015.

Former Republican state Rep. Sophia M. DiCaro has been appointed to the board that oversees the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and issues liquor licenses to restaurants, bars and businesses in the state.

DiCaro currently is the chief compliance officer for The Cynosure Group, an investment advisory firm in Salt Lake City. She has 15 years experience in public policy, program evaluation, budgeting and economic development — skills she believes will be helpful as a member of the sometimes-controversial DABC board.

“Having served in the Legislature, I approach controversial issues in a very objective way,” said DiCaro, who from 2015 to 2016 represented West Valley‘s House District 31.

It’s a swing district that is “60 percent unaffiliated,” she said, “so I always felt I had to evaluate both sides of an issue, before making any public policy decisions.”

Her diplomacy — and sense of humor — showed when asked if she drinks. “Coffee, water, and occasionally tea and alcohol. But no sugar and no soda.”

DiCaro replaces Olivia Vela Agraz, a social drinker who has served on the DABC commission since 2012 and recently moved out of state.

DiCaro’s nomination still must be confirmed by the Utah Senate. A hearing is expected in mid-November.

DiCaro’s professional career began in various roles at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, which later led to an opportunity in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. She served there as finance director, and later as the deputy director and chief operating officer.

Through the years she has worked for four different governors in various senior roles. She received a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in public administration, both at the University of Utah, where she is an adjunct instructor for the Master of Public Administration program.

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