Eagleshare.org is a website I created in 2013 to raise awareness of Eagle Mountain City’s political and governmental corruption. In the first year alone my friends and I uncovered enough scandals that voters overwhelmingly rejected the politicians that ran for re-election and even scared one into not even trying. The first big report, which covered the city’s utility scandal, even prompted the Utah State Auditor’s Office to take a closer look at our city’s finances.
My background is in IT and accounting and I spent many years working for different companies in Utah, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. In the middle of my career I had a brief stint as an investigative reporter and this taught me that I had a knack for government scatology. Here are some of the more unusual things I’ve uncovered in our dirty little city:
- Our utility rates were about 18 percent higher than the norm
- Utility revenues were being siphoned off to subsidize the city’s money-losing special events (ex. rodeo)
- Possible election fraud by the city recorder who is also the city’s chief election officer
- Sloppy government accounting of bond monies
- Extremely high government salaries and benefits
- Rampant misuse of public vehicles (up to three at a time have been spotted at Cabela’s)
- Abuse of city employees by public officials (mayor had employees clean her house and babysit her kids)
- Gross misuse of the city’s credit cards at area restaurants and department stores
As a result of our investigations the city finally got around to publishing its utility rates on its bills; it disclosed more info about its true financial losses during Pony Express Days; it cleaned up many of its sloppy accounting practices; its employees reduced the number of non-business related trips they made using city vehicles; and it even lowered our natural gas rates to an appropriate level, which saved residents hundreds of dollars per year. Our former mayor, Heather Jackson, in a vain attempt to win re-election, even started fixing the city’s roads, which she neglected for many years while she was busy throwing parties for her favorite constituent groups using taxpayer money.
While we have accomplished many things, there’s still a lot of work to do. The city keeps paying its under-qualified and dishonest employees top-tier salaries, and it still spends way too much on public relations and entertainment. Plus, there’s a culture of corruption among its employees that will only really change when they are held accountable for their past transgressions.
Since none of Utah’s law enforcement personnel have been willing to stop the corruption our goal is to document and expose the city’s failings so voters can hold their city officials accountable on election day. It’s going to be a long road to clean up Eagle Mountain, but we’ve made substantial progress in a relatively short period of time.
On a personal note, due to a chiropractic injury and stroke I suffered in 2006 my ability to read and write was severely compromised. I still do it when absolutely necessary, but it’s extremely difficult and painful because of circulatory issues in my brain. As a result, I don’t update this website on a regular basis. Nor do I respond to most emails in a timely manner. In general, I try to do the absolute minimum necessary to clean up the city so I can afford to keep living here.
When Mayor Jackson threatened to raise my utility rates in late 2011 she was about to break my family’s already tight budget. And unlike our city’s highly paid staff some of us are very price sensitive to the cost of government. If her actions hadn’t been such a direct threat to my family I never would’ve started this project.
Eagle Mountain, Utah
samallen (at) utahacl (dot) org