As a resident of Wayne County, I much appreciate The Tribune’s editorial of July 29 concerning the former Wayne County attorney. However, I believe that an essential element of American democracy was overlooked.
LeEllen McCartney, like the commissioners and like everyone who is elected (up to and including the president of the United States), is hired and paid by the citizens of either the county, the state or the country. They are, as the phrase goes, civil servants. When McCartney (whom I admire greatly) says that she cannot talk about certain matters because it would breach attorney-client privilege, I think she misunderstands her position. She was both elected and paid by the residents of Wayne County. We are her clients.
In fact, Utah code states that she represents the county and not the commissioners. She owes it to those who hired her in an election to report to the proper authorities any information — damning or exculpatory — that she has about the actions of the Wayne County commissioners.
I bring up this point not just because of the purported actions of my local elected officials, but because this seems to be a national problem as well. Having worked throughout Washington, D.C., for 36 years, I am well aware of the disconnect that often exists between elected officials and those for whom they work. But no matter their disregard of the electoral system, they all — from county commissioners to president — are employed by those who elected them.
Their loyalty is to us, not to each other.