President Donald Trump’s last-day flurry of pardons included one Utahn

Sen. Mike Lee, Rep. Chris Stewart and county commissioner lobbied for Enoch man’s pardon.

(Manuel Balce Ceneta | AP file photo) Former President Donald Trump waves to the members of the media after his final flight on Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.

One Utahn and four people recommended by former Utah federal prosecutor-turned-lobbyist Brett Tolman received grants of clemency from President Donald Trump on his final morning in office.

Lynn Barney of Enoch received a full pardon for felony convictions. He had received a 35-month prison sentence for possessing a firearm after another felony conviction for distributing a small amount of marijuana.

“Since his release from prison, Mr. Barney has been a model citizen and has devoted himself to his work and children,” the White House wrote in a news release.

Garfield County Commissioner Jerry Taylor said he grew up with Barney’s parents and gave Barney a job shortly after his release from prison several years ago.

“What a wonderful young man, he did a wonderful job for us,” Taylor said in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune. “If anyone deserved a pardon, this man did. He didn’t have the high dollars to hire a lobbyist to get a pardon, so he reached out to me.”

Taylor said he worked with Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Chris Stewart to convince Trump to grant Barney clemency.

“Lynn Barney is an exceptional husband and father,” Lee said in a statement. “He has truly turned his life around and now just wants to hunt with his kids like his father did before him. I thank President Trump for listening to his case and making the compassionate decision.”

Barney’s wife, Sarah Barney, wrote a public post on Facebook thanking Taylor, Lee and Stewart, as well as the outgoing president, for their efforts.

“Donald J. Trump: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for pardoning my husband!!!” she wrote. “Lynn expresses his deepest gratitude. It’s surreal to say the least. He has given permission to share so that you all may know that people like Jerry, our Senators and Representatives do work for the ‘little guy.’”

Tolman advised the White House on clemency recommendations in recent weeks as part of “a lucrative market for pardons” that heated up after Trump’s election defeat, with some lobbyists “collecting fees from wealthy felons or their associates,” according to a report by The New York Times. Tolman did not immediately respond to an interview request Wednesday.

The former U.S. Attorney for Utah previously helped, along with Sens. Lee and Rand Paul, R-Ky., to secure a pardon from Trump for Weldon Angelos, a Utah music producer originally sentenced to 55 years in prison on a marijuana selling and gun possession convictions because of mandatory minimum sentencing rules.

On Wednesday, Tolman also played a role in a clemency grant for at least two clients. Greg Reyes received a full pardon after being convicted of securities fraud. The former CEO of Silicon Valley-based Brocade Communications had been sentenced to 18 months in prison and a $15 million fine, according to The Mercury News.

Tolman’s firm began lobbying for Reyes’ pardon in Jan. 6, 2020, according to a ProPublica database.

Another of Tolman’s clients, Sholam Weiss, received a commuted sentence. The New York businessman was convicted of money laundering and was accused of scamming the National Heritage Life Insurance Co. out of $450 million, according to The Journal News. Weiss was serving a 835-year sentence. ProPublica information shows Tolman began representing Weiss in May 2020.

Tolman also helped Eliyahu Weinstein receive a commuted sentence. The former used car salesman and real estate developer from New Jersey ran a $200 million Ponzi scheme and scammed an investor out of $6.7 million after claiming he had inside information about Facebook shares, according to NJ.com. He was sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Adrianne Miller also had her drug possession and intent to distribute sentence commuted with support from Tolman. The Alabama woman has served 6 years of a 15-year sentence. Miller wrote in an online petition for her clemency that she took “full and complete responsibility” for her actions, noted that she was guilty of being an addict but said as “a first time Federal offender my sentence is very harsh considering I was only doing it to feed my addiction.”

It is not clear whether Weinstein or Miller were Tolman’s clients.

Tolman has previously tweeted “I’m proud of my team’s clemency work” and that while “some have been paying clients, many have been pro bono.”

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump depart the White House on Wednesday morning, Jan. 20, 2021, hours before the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden. (Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times)