Tom Westmoreland — A Counterfeit Conservative

TOM-ACC-Tom-mugWhen I recruited Tom Westmoreland to run for a city council position in early 2013 I did so because he seemed like a solid conservative. He was coming from the private sector. He had a long history of working to promote conservative political issues such as gaining state control of Federal lands in Utah. He seemed to know a lot of other conservatives in the state, which would’ve been a great asset to our small, backwards city. And best of all, he openly stated that one of his goals, if he ever got into office, was to not go soft like so many of the other politicians he had helped get elected over the years. He even had copies of the U.S. Constitution hanging on his walls at home.

(Tom’s Eagle Mountain City bio)

During the campaign we had one exchange in particular that reaffirmed my faith in him. He said that during one of his door-to-door visits a resident asked him about his position on the city’s much-loathed rodeo. He replied that he “didn’t think government should be in the entertainment business.” That was exactly the right answer. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for Tom to change his tune once he got into office.

Pony Express Days Rodeo Corruption

Historically, Eagle Mountain’s rodeo and other special events have been the city’s biggest money pits. For years our former mayor, Heather Jackson, and her employees used them as excuses to use taxpayer funds for their own personal entertainment. According to Lianne Pengra, a former city official who used to help organize the city’s events, over half of the approximately 6,000 rodeo tickets that were issued in 2012 were given away for free by the mayor and others to their friends, families, local media outlets, and visiting politicians.

In addition to free event tickets, many of these people were also given access to the city’s VIP tent where they got all-you-can-eat meals at taxpayer expense. Not surprisingly, this tent was closed to the public that actually paid for their meals.

The lost ticket revenue and outrageous event expenses contributed to annual losses which made many of the city’s more frugal residents extremely angry. Eagle Mountain’s rodeo epitomized government corruption at its worst on the local level.

But instead of killing it as the vast majority of the city’s residents wanted, Tom decided to prop it up with even more taxpayer subsidies after telling voters on the campaign trail that he “didn’t think government should be in the entertainment business.”

Shortly after he took office in January 2014 the city council started debating the future of its money-losing rodeo and during this debate Tom told me how impressed he was by the city’s rodeo supporters. He said that since they were extremely well-organized, he wanted to “help them help themselves” by also supporting them financially with taxpayer money. The most egregious contributions were the city’s payments for the rodeo award purse ($14,000) and their private PRCA rodeo organization dues (~$1,400).

When the contentious issue of who would pay for the rodeo bleachers came up, Wendy Lojik, a rodeo organizer, had this to say in a February 18th, 2014 city council meeting:

TOM-ACC-lojik-bleachers

Complete meeting minutes:
http://www.utah.gov/pmn/files/119193.pdf (see page 9 for context)

Bleacher purchase agreement:
http://www.eaglemountaincity.org//Home/ShowDocument?id=1090

(Item 1 mentions that an unnamed third-party (the Rodeo Committee) would be responsible for the bulk of the purchase price of the bleachers. The third-party was never named even though it should have been.)

Excerpt from bleacher contract:

TOM-ACC-bleacher-agreement-1

The city explicitly sold its financial support of the rodeo to the public by telling everyone that these taxpayer subsidies would be going to a 501(c)3 charity. This was presumably done to make these contributions legal. The following excerpt from the meeting validates this:

TOM-ACC-cook-non-profit

The problem is that it didn’t appear as if the Rodeo Committee was operating as a legally recognized 501(c)3 organization at the time they received the donations. According to the IRS website, tax-exempt status is normally only effective as of the date of the original application, if it was filed in a timely manner.

In fact, according to a July 5, 2016 phone call I had with an IRS tax-exempt official, the Rodeo Committee didn’t file any application to become a tax-exempt organization until March 2016, two years after they said they were operating as a 501(c)3! This may be why Jared Gray, the current president of the Rodeo Committee (aka: Pony Express Events), has never responded to my requests for copies of their original application, which he has told city officials were delayed by the IRS.

When I pressed the IRS representative to verify that no previous applications had, in fact, been filed, even under other names, he definitively stated to me over the phone that they had only filed one application and that it was submitted in March 2016. Either he was in error or the Rodeo Committee has been misleading the city in order to cover-up its legal problems.

If you want to read more about this scandal, you can find the background info here: (http://eagleshare.org/2016/05/20/rodeo-donations/). (As more details emerge, they will be released in an upcoming report.)

To make matters worse, Utah State law explicitly states that charities cannot solicit donations unless they are exempt or registered with the state Division of Consumer Protection. According to my reading of the law the Rodeo Committee does not qualify as an exempt organization, and it does not appear as if they registered either.

http://www.consumerprotection.utah.gov/registrations/charities.html

TOM-ACC-registration-requirementsTOM-ACC-utah-charity-registration

After verifying to a city resident over the phone that they were, in fact, not complying with the law at all, the Utah State Division of Consumer Protection sent them a kindly worded letter alerting them to their need to register.

http://www.eagleshare.org/files/non-compliance-letter-DCP-single-pg.pdf

What this means is that the city gave taxpayer money to a group of private citizens who were not even legally allowed to solicit donations in the state. And Tom helped facilitate it!

But wait, it gets even worse! The Rodeo Committee also reneged on its promise to use its own funds to pay for the rodeo bleachers as promised by Wendy Lojik. Tom along with two other council members voted to use proceeds from the city’s recently sold utility companies to pay off the cost of the bleachers for them, thus cheating taxpayers again and probably breaking the law.

Excerpts from the December 1, 2015 City Council Meeting minutes:

TOM-ACC-bleachers-motion-to-buy

TOM-ACC-bleachers-motion-vote

Source: http://www.utah.gov/pmn/files/200835.pdf (pg. 9, item 19)

(Note how the city’s minutes never actually mention that they are covering a private debt. We can thank our city recorder, Fionnuala Kofoed, for this obfuscation. It’s also worth noting that the city had absolutely no obligation to pay this debt according to the terms of the bleacher purchase contract–see the second underlined portion in the excerpt of the bleacher contract.)

TOM-ACC-bleacher-agreement-1

I’ve been watching Eagle Mountain politics long enough to know that this bait and switch was probably planned from the very beginning by our new mayor, Chris Pengra, and Wendy Lojik, the founder of the Pony Express Days Rodeo Committee. It makes you wonder how Lojik got such a sweetheart deal.

Could it have anything to do with the fact that she is the owner and publisher of our local paper, the Crossroads Journal, and that politicians always want to be loved by the press?

Linked-In profile for Wendy Lojik, owner of Crossroads Journal:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendy-lojik-28278915

One interesting fact about Lojik “the publisher” is that her paper steadfastly refuses to cover any political scandals in the city, including the one that I will cover next. Maybe that’s why the city’s politicians have been so willing to subsidize her expensive horse hobby . . . .

Eagle Mountain City’s Credit Card Abuses

Tom’s votes in support of the city’s money-losing rodeo stands in stark contrast to his complete non-support of my attempts to get some accountability for the city’s other pork like its outrageous spending at area restaurants and department stores.

Check out this listing of the restaurants and stores where our city’s employees shopped with our taxpayer-funded credit cards:

http://eagleshare.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/food-clothing.jpg

When I first started looking into the city’s credit card abuses in early 2014 I had an extremely tough time getting documents from the city in a timely manner and at a reasonable price. But since I now had a friend on the council I thought I’d ask for his help.

I had originally requested four years of credit card statements (2010-2013) from the city. In response, the city only gave me two years’ worth of statements (2010-2011) and charged me more for them than they had originally estimated for the whole batch. Since I couldn’t afford any more of their exorbitant fees, I went to Tom to ask for his help in getting the rest of them for free. In order to prove that it was in the public interest for the city to release these statements without charge, I gave Tom copies of all the statements I had received to-date so he could see for himself the massive spending problems within the city. To my surprise, he denied my request for help.

It was pretty obvious Tom didn’t want to help because he thought he would ruin his working relationship with the city’s bureaucrats if he helped me get information that would embarrass them.

It took me a while but I was eventually able to raise enough donations from other people to pay for the rest of the statements without Tom’s help. And once I finished my report which analyzed and documented the city’s spending problems, I gave Tom an advance copy and asked for a meeting with him to discuss my findings.

http://eagleshare.org/pigs-in-suits

It took Tom over two months to find the time in his schedule to meet with me and when he finally did drop by my house a week before the all-important 2015 budget vote, he confessed that he had never read the report. When I asked him whether he would support a ban on using taxpayer money for food purchases, he told me that he thought the issue needed further study because he “didn’t want to create any unintended consequences.”

This was an outrageous statement for him to make since I had kept him in the loop regarding the city’s restaurant spending from the very beginning. And I find it very hard to believe that it would take anyone more than 18 months to figure out that our city employees have a serious eating disorder. Besides, there is absolutely no need for taxpayers to pay for the meals of public officials when we already pay them generous salaries which they can use to pay for their own food. It’s what the rest of us do in the private sector.

http://eagleshare.org/files/salary.pdf

The next insult from Tom came a week later when I confronted him and the other council members in the actual 2015 public budget hearing. After reviewing the city’s credit card spending in my public statement and explaining why we couldn’t trust our employees to make any food purchases, I asked the city council to remove all the food money from the city’s budget. Here’s the audio of Tom’s reply:

http://eagleshare.org/audio/tom-westmoreland-food.mp3

In his rambling statement Tom basically said that he and the other council members had already addressed most of issues I had identified in my report and that he was willing to entertain further discussion about the city’s food expenditures. But he also stated that he wasn’t willing to do it during this budget cycle because he thought the issue needed more study. Sounds perfectly reasonable, doesn’t it? . . . unless you consider these facts:

  1. He had 18 months to study the issue and didn’t.
  1. City council members and employees still eat taxpayer-funded meals.
  1. The city is still withholding dozens of credit card statements, which Jeremy Cook, the city attorney, promised to turn over in a State Records Committee appeal hearing, twice.
  1. As of July 10, 2016 the city is still not disclosing its restaurant purchases on the state’s transparency website as required by law.
  1. No city employee has ever been fired or prosecuted for misusing the city’s credit cards at area restaurants or department stores.
  1. City vehicles could still be spotted at area restaurants outside the city’s limits, even after Tom declared the problems largely solved.

TOM-ACC-del-taco

At best, Tom is intentionally choosing to be ignorant of the city’s corruption so he doesn’t have to deal with it. At worst, he has become part of the problem. And it might even be both.

Lessons Learned

Tom Westmoreland was obviously a “campaign conservative” when he ran for office because he has been anything but conservative when it has come to dealing with much of the city’s pork. When Wendy Lojik, the publisher of the Crossroads Journal, used her background in cosmetology and publishing to dress up the city’s rodeo pork, Tom thought it looked good enough to vote for, at least twice.

TOM-ACC-Tom-campaign-signIt took him less than 18 months to go native once he got into government. He now defends the city’s pork while fighting the residents who want to eliminate it. In essence, he has become the kind of politician he used to loathe.

The most disappointing aspect of Tom’s time in office is that I have never been able to get him to publicly or privately condemn our city employees’ outrageous spending and numerous cover-ups. When I asked him why he wouldn’t, he said he “didn’t think it was productive to introduce emotion into the debate.” What he really meant to say was that he didn’t think it was worth discussing facts that would make the city’s employees angry. It’s pretty obvious that Tom cares much more about his relationship with the city’s bureaucrats than he cares about the voters who put him into office. It’s a real shame because I thought he was the perfect candidate when I first asked him to run for office.

Were the City’s Rodeo Donations Fraudulent?

rodeo-sign

Just when we all thought the city’s rodeo drama was over, a new scandal has emerged. Apparently, the Pony Express Days Rodeo Committee never got formal approval from the IRS to operate as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt charity.

In a March 18, 2014 public meeting Jared Gray, a director of the committee’s board of trustees, explicitly stated that they were a “501 non-profit.” They have also heavily implied as much in the marketing material they have produced since then.

But if the Rodeo Committee never actually filed an application to become one, they might have committed fraud against the taxpayers and sponsors who subsequently relied upon their statements to justify their donations. If the Rodeo Committee filed an application but it got denied by the IRS, and they never told anyone, they have a whole host of other problems. But we don’t know exactly what happened because they haven’t responded to multiple requests for proof of their tax-exempt status.

To make matters worse, Mayor Pengra explicitly stated in this same public hearing that he had personally verified that the Rodeo Committee was a 501(c)3 charity. City Administrator Ifo Pili and City Attorney Jeremy Cook also apparently failed to verify that the Rodeo Committee was legit before they arranged the city’s donations to it.

City residents should know that even though there are no longer any specific appropriations for the rodeo and its associated events in the city’s budgets, they still get a substantial amount of non-monetary support from taxpayers. I don’t believe the Rodeo Committee (now known as Pony Express Events) pays anything for the police services, utilities, and marketing assistance it receives from the city. I also believe it only pays $1 for its use of the rodeo grounds. It may even have access to city-owned equipment and other resources which they use for free.

If you would like to learn more about how deceitful, incompetent, and/or corrupt this whole arrangement has been, you’ll want to read the public statement I made to the council at the May 17, 2016 budget hearing as well as browse through the research material that backs up my assertions. The proof is damning.

EMC-Rodeo-501c3-backup-docs

What’s really disturbing is that when I brought this potential fraud to the attention of Mayor Pengra and the council, the mayor wasn’t upset at Wendy Lojik or Jared Gray, the former president and current president of the rodeo committee. He was incensed with me for exposing the scandal!

It is also slightly troubling that the council remained stubbornly silent and never asked Lojik to explain herself when she got up and told them everything was in order. It would have been nice if they had at least challenged her a bit and asked her to explain the current status of her application, if it even exists. Maybe they were just too shell-shocked to respond to the unfolding drama.

What is really telling is that Lojik claimed that she had hired one of Utah’s best law firms to represent the committee in this matter. Normally, people don’t hire the best (and probably most expensive) lawyers to handle routine charity filings. They usually hire the best only when they think they are in real trouble.

While we wait for the rest of this drama to unfold there are two things that should happen: (1) the city should immediately withhold all taxpayer resources from the rodeo committee going forward, and (2) residents should boycott the city’s Pony Express Days events.

We should not be doing business with or patronizing a dishonest organization.

—–

To watch a good summary of why citizens have been opposed to funding the rodeo in the past, check out this clip of Jen Morrison’s public statement dated March 18, 2014. It’s very succinct.

Jen Morrison
https://youtu.be/jyu_Bq1qJaY?t=16m31s

Donna Burnham: The Political Windsock

burnham-mugOn March 4, 2016 Donna Burnham announced via her friends at the Daily Herald that she was running for the Utah House District 2 seat that is being vacated by David Lifferth (R). This district includes Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs. But before voters do anything crazy–like put her in charge of voting on even bigger government budgets–they really ought to learn a little about her not-so “conservative” record in Eagle Mountain.

During Burnham’s tenure as an Eagle Mountain City council member the city’s employees and elected officials regularly used the city’s credit cards to buy meals for themselves, their colleagues, and sometimes even their family members at area restaurants and stores.

food
After I discovered the true scope of the city’s eating disorders I asked Burnham and the other council members to remove all the food money from the city’s FY 2016 budget during the city’s annual budget hearing. This is part of what Burnham had to say when she refused my request:

Audio clip: http://eagleshare.org/audio/donna-short.mp3

Burnham actually bragged about paying for two of her own meals! What kind of politician does that? Maybe someone who is used to taxpayers footing the bill for her?

In fact, during one infamous Christmas party at Mayor Heather Jackson’s house, Burnham and the other council members ate food which was purchased using money the mayor (or her assistant) got by inappropriately cashing the city’s annual cash rebate check from Costco. This private party was also famous because the mayor had her personal assistant help her clean her house before her political guests arrived.

If you want to understand why Burnham thought it was worth bragging about paying for her own meal after a State Library Board meeting, all you’ve got to do is browse these summaries of the city’s meal purchases:

http://eagleshare.org/pdfs/food-totals-employee.pdf

http://eagleshare.org/pdfs/EMC-city-council-food-purchases-2010-2013.pdf

The city’s 2010-2013 credit card statements are chock full of examples of city employees and elected officials who used taxpayer money to pay for meals before and after public meetings. It seemed to be a common practice to use any excuse available to justify eating out on the taxpayer dime. And it doesn’t appear that Burnham had any problems with these expenditures while they were happening. She only seemed to discover her conscience after I exposed the city’s spending problems.

But it gets worse! When I tried get copies of all of the city’s credit card statements for the 2010-2013 period, Mayor Pengra refused to turn over many of them and I never heard Burnham once condemn the cover-up. Instead, she actually defended the city’s leaders and their spending habits.

List of missing credit card statements: http://eagleshare.org/pdfs/missing-cc-statements.pdf

Audio clip supporting leaders:  http://eagleshare.org/audio/donna-support.mp3

Voters should not reward Burnham with higher office after she failed to protect them in Eagle Mountain. She’s obviously just a campaign conservative who turns into a political windsock the minute she gets into power. And the winds of government are generally not friendly to taxpayers.

If you want to learn more about Burnham’s true record on the Eagle Mountain City Council, please read the following report. It’s a doozy.

Pigs in Suits: A Citizen Audit of Eagle Mountain City’s 2010-2013 Credit Card Statements

If you want to learn more about how Burnham sees herself, you can find her campaign website here:
http://www.vote4donna.com

2015 Municipal Election Results

The results are in and every single incumbent politician has now been replaced! Here are the official election results for 2015:

2015-general-election-results

Incumbents that have left us:

Mayor Heather Jackson — defeated by voters 2013
Council Member Nate Ochsenhirt — defeated by voters 2013
John Painter — chose not to run for re-election 2013
Rich Steinkopf — defeated by voters 2015
Donna Burnham — chose not to run for re-election 2015
Ryan Ireland — chose to not run for re-election 2015

Thank you Eagle Mountain City voters!

Current Eagle Mountain Elected Officials:

Mayor Chris Pengra
Council Member Adam Bradley
Council Member Tom Westmoreland
Council Member Stephanie Gricius
Council Member Ben Reaves
Council Member Colby Curtis

Hopefully, with a new slate of officers this city can finally clean up its act.

Help Wanted: Door hanger hangers, Pay: lower taxes

 

Whew! I never knew the mere anticipation of my door hangers being distributed throughout the city could cause so much angst on Facebook!

If you want to see what all the hullaballoo is about, check out the scanned copy of the door hanger below and then read on about why this door hanger is the absolute best way to help clean up the corruption in our city.

2015-doorhanger

While I’ve made it a policy to never respond to personal attacks against me, especially on Facebook, I feel compelled to make a few remarks in defense of the work I’ve been doing to clean up the city’s corruption over the last few years.

When I first started getting involved in city politics in late 2011 I quickly learned that consulting with the city’s officials politely and in private doesn’t work. During this time I contacted our public officials to request that our utility rates be published on our bills, but I was quickly blown off by Mayor Heather Jackson and her administrators who claimed it would cost too much to make this simple change.

Of course, their response was complete hogwash and it made me suspect that they were cheating us somehow by playing fast and loose with our bills. After all, no other utility in the nation that I knew of hid their rates the way Eagle Mountain did.

After this initial failure to bring transparency to our utility bills I decided to change my approach with the city. I decided to get a little snarky and ridicule their lack of transparency in a very public way via my website. But first, I wanted to perform a real analysis of the city’s utility rates to see if I could find out what was really going on.

To my surprise, city residents were paying about 20 percent more for their combined utilities (gas, electric, sewer, water, etc.) than the average Utah County resident. And the natural gas rates they paid were far above the price the city paid for natural gas on the wholesale market. These enormous price differentials amounted to a HUGE stealth tax that made it so the city had lots of extra money rolling in, which government bureaucracies always like.

When I wrote about this and publicly ridiculed the city for its scam, what do you think happened? City residents went online and publicly complained about their high bills for weeks and the city got scared. Shortly after, Mayor Jackson lowered the natural gas rates she charged residents to more accurately reflect the wholesale rates the city actually paid. This saved every one of us hundreds of dollars a year and collectively saved the city’s residents millions. Ifo Pili, the city’s administrator, also reversed course and announced that he would start publishing the utility rates on our bills as soon as possible.

This experience taught me a very important lesson about dealing with corrupt government officials: it’s important to publicly express how you think AND feel when you communicate with them. If you talk to them in private and only do so in a dispassionate way, they will generally blow you off. But if you communicate with them in public and you are passionate about your positions, you can be amazingly effective.

During this current election cycle I decided to try and make even more improvements to the city, but this time around things turned out differently because the crooks were prepared for my assault.

When I finally published my analysis of the city’s credit card spending online in April 2015, the city’s supporters instantly went on the offensive and spent days attacking my character in the “Eagle Mountain City Citizens” Facebook group while almost never discussing the 78 pages of facts and backup documentation that I had published. After this torrid offensive no one else in the city thought it would be productive to publicly discuss the city’s spending online lest they also become the subject of a harassment campaign.

Even though Mayor Pengra has reduced the amount of pork in the city’s budgets since he took office, there are still thousands of dollars left in it for employee food and clothing purchases. And when I asked the city council to remove all of the food money from the city’s budgets–which I thought would be the least controversial request I could make–every single council member declined despite the overwhelming evidence that the city’s employees were still abusing the city’s credit cards. Why?

The answer: no one else but me has publicly and loudly complained about the pork. And without a strong public response against it, Pengra and the council rightly concluded that they could keep eating our money without any consequences, literally. (The council gets free meals too.)

While I totally agree with the silent majority that going online and engaging in a war of words with Pengra’s peanut gallery is totally pointless, we still have to fight them in order to stop their spending. And the best way to do that is to educate voters about the true scope of the problems so they can vote for the toughest council candidates this election cycle.

Since none of our local newspapers have seen fit to cover this massive spending scandal and the following cover-up, the only way we can really influence the election is to bypass them completely and communicate directly with our neighbors. The cheapest and easiest way to do this is with door hangers but they require a lot of work to pass out.

So far, I’ve spent about $1,500 of my own money obtaining copies of the city’s credit card statements and printing up door hangers. I’ve also spent about 1,000 man-hours over the last 18 months compiling all the data and appealing through the state’s law enforcement hierarchy to get some accountability. But so far, we’ve been completely abandoned by the state’s Republican establishment. They don’t want to prosecute any fraud in our city. What this means is that we can’t rely on any outside authority to clean up Eagle Mountain for us; we must win this election and clean it up ourselves.

If you would like to help educate your neighbors about the city’s ongoing corruption by passing out door hangers, please send me an email. If we can get enough people to help, we can quickly cover the whole city and make sure that every voter can make an informed choice on August 11th.

If you do decide to help, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the reaction you’ll get from most of your neighbors. Our city is full of honest people who really want to get rid of the corruption; they just don’t know what to do about it. These door hangers give them something to do and they are usually very grateful for it.

But if you decide to do nothing–as most of the city has done for the last 18 years–this city will continue to remain a cesspool of political corruption and Mayor Pengra and his peanut gallery will continue to dole out your money as pork to the city’s employees and his favorite political constituencies.

It’s your choice.

Kind regards,

Sam Allen
samallen@eagleshare.org

Romney Institute of Public Management Honors Ifo Pili

This larger than life banner celebrating Eagle Mountain City Administrator Ifo Pili’s success now hangs in the atrium of the Marriott School on BYU Campus.IMG_20150501_160813065

Shortly after becoming the city’s chief administrator in fiscal year 2013 Pili started raising the salaries of the city’s employees dramatically. I’m sure they were grateful even if the city’s taxpayers weren’t!

EMC-salary

Mayor Jackson Pulls a Fast One

City residents recently received the following notice about radical changes that a local developer wants to make within the city before Mayor Heather Jackson leaves office. Shouldn’t major changes like these be left to the next administration instead of being forced through during a lame duck session? Certainly, there isn’t enough time to thoroughly debate these changes during the holiday season when most people would rather focus on their families. The timing of this proposal is awfully fishy.

last-gift-to-developers

Building Department Fails Residents Again

On December 2, 2013 a local concrete contractor poured the pads for a garage and basement without any thermal protection even through temps that night and in the following days reached far below freezing. This was strictly against the city’s building codes and it guaranteed that the future owner of this house will be stuck with weakened concrete that will most likely chip in the coming years.

What makes this oversight so egregious is that a local resident saw the same thing happen the previous week at a couple other homes down the street. When he complained to the building department, the building inspector made a big show of taking pictures of the incorrectly poured concrete, but then seemed to do nothing to stop it from happening again the next week.

Here is a copy of the city’s cold weather concrete requirements:

cold-concrete-standards

Now here is a copy of the weather report on Dec 4, 2012, the date the following pictures were taken.

http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KPVU/2013/12/4/DailyHistory.html?req_city=Eagle+Mountain&req_state=UT&req_statename=Utah

Here are two pictures of the affected property:

IMG_20131204_143347IMG_20131204_143419

Kent Partridge is the Chief Building Official for the city. His email address is: kpartridge@emcity.org. You’d think that a guy who makes over $125k a year would be able to make sure the city’s concrete is poured correctly, especially after being warned about the problem, but apparently that isn’t the case.

http://www.utahsright.com/profile.php?id=2678121

Election Fraud in Eagle Mountain

During the August 13, 2013 municipal primary election in Eagle Mountain City there were numerous irregularities in the vote counting process that prompted me to investigate the possibility that the election might have been stolen. After a couple weeks of research I compiled my findings in a report, which I then forwarded to various government officials around the state in the hope that we could get a recount that would conclusively determine whether the election results were honest or fraudulent. To my disappointment, not a single county or state agency could or would help me get to the bottom of this mystery.

Up until now I have largely kept this report private because I wanted to give Tim Taylor, the acting Utah County Attorney, time to privately investigate without the city becoming aware of my concerns. If the city caught wind of my suspicions before the ballots in question were secured, it could tamper with them and make it impossible for him to ever uncover the truth. Unfortunately, the Utah County Attorney’s Office has shown no interest in helping the residents of Eagle Mountain at all and now the only option left to me is to let the public know of what may have happened.

In the interest of full disclosure, I endorsed and actively supported the two candidates who might have lost the primary due to election fraud. They were Robert Schermerhorn (mayoral candidate) and Nick Jessen (council candidate). The two beneficiaries of this potential fraud were the incumbents, Mayor Heather Jackson and Council Member Nathan Ochsenhirt.

While there is no indication the incumbents had anything to do with the potential fraud, at the very least the unprofessional conduct of the city recorder, who is their direct employee, calls into question their competency as political leaders in Eagle Mountain. Voters ought to take this into account when they vote in the general election on November 5th, 2013.

EMC Election Fraud Report
This is an updated version of the report I gave to county and state authorities in the hope that they would conduct a recount and investigate any irregularities.

Addendum to the EMC Election Fraud Report
This report describes my failed attempts to get an investigation and speculates on why our county and state officials have not helped us clean up corruption in Eagle Mountain. It also contains additional details on other scandals such as how developers have been able to steal millions of dollars from residents by controlling the reins of power within the city.

—–

Update: Going forward several things should happen . . .

(1)  The city recorder should not be allowed to supervise the upcoming general election on Nov. 5th.
(2)  The City Council should order that all the ballots from the primary election are immediately removed from the recorder’s safe in her office and placed in the custody of the Utah County Elections Division for safe keeping, pending future investigations.
(3)  The City Council should officially request an investigation of the primary election by an independent third-party.
(4)  All candidates should make sure they have poll watchers present to verify the integrity of the vote on Nov. 5th.

Another update: It doesn’t appear that anyone at the city, county or state levels seems to care about election fraud in Eagle Mountain.  It should be noted that public officials who would potentially benefit from election fraud are still allowed to serve as members of the canvassing board that certifies the election. It’s a stunning conflict of interest that should be illegal, but isn’t in this city.