Why Am I Running for Re-Election?

I love to serve and feel like my team is making a positive difference in many areas. I am the candidate with the most leadership and legal experience and most qualified for this position.  Over the last nine months, we have built a lot of productive momentum in the Utah Attorney General’s Office (“AGO”) and I am running for reelection to ensure we continue moving in the right direction. The morale of the office improves each day. Public trust has been restored because of our emphasis on integrity and legal excellence and not political agendas and special interests. I want to continue to lead out as Utah’s top prosecutor and law enforcement officer to maintain the progress and stability we’ve built and to ensure the new policies, procedures and best practices we have implemented are continually improved upon.  

The hardworking lawyers and professionals in the office are now receiving the resources, technology, leadership and support needed to keep violent and white collar criminals off the streets.  They are also realizing the financial compensation they deserve after more than a decade of promised but undelivered raises and resources being diverted to political causes. We don’t need a fourth attorney general in four years, particularly one who has never managed lawyers, never held a leadership position in his legal career and one who wants to learn on the job how to lead a legal office.  


If Re-Elected, What are the First Items I Plan to Address as Attorney General?

My emphasis would be the same as it has always been:Restoring public trust in government while protecting Utah citizens, businesses, children and Seniors from devastating effects of: (1) violent crimes, abuse, drugs, Internet predators; (2) white collar fraud and Ponzi schemes; (3) federal overreach into local and state affairs such as healthcare, education, public lands, and gun rights. I will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute criminal cases while protecting civil liberties, defending state laws and filing suits where appropriate against the federal government to preserve states' rights.

My vision from the beginning of my tenure has been to turn the focus of the office from politics back to being a premier law firm serving the people of Utah. To make this vision a reality, my executive team and I have conducted hundreds of hours of interviews, commissioned audits and investigations of prior conduct, including client and employee surveys, to ensure staff and operations are benchmarked accurately and improved as necessary. A recent survey by the State Auditor shows almost 90% of our clients are satisfied with our performance and 31% are more satisfied today than they were only nine months ago.  

Among many infrastructure improvements, we have created performance evaluations and implemented policies, procedures and training regarding ethics, conflicts-of-interest, preservation of documents and emails.  I believe most of those inside the AG office would agree that my mission and approach to improving the office have paid off over the past nine months.


How Does Transparency Help Restore Public Trust in the Office of the Attorney General? Where do you Draw the Line with Transparency?

Transparency is essential and we have added resources in the office to respond to public requests for information.  We have also been more compliant with open and transparent bidding on government contracts.  In certain cases, however, there is information we cannot disclose because it is protected by attorney-client privilege, protected under HIPPAA or other laws or which could endanger people like our undercover investigators and their informants if disclosed.  We have to be careful to be transparent without doing anything to compromise cases, investigations or daily operations. Sometimes there are office policies and procedures that need to be implemented to eliminate chaos and confusion, such as uniform media policy and procedures, which is standard practice for most businesses and law firms. We have made ourselves frequently available for the media to interview and try to respond to all reasonable media requests.  As a campaign, we’ve also been acutely aware of and careful about vetting and disclosing campaign donations, making sure the public know who I am and what I stand for on our website and social media and keeping campaign operations separate from office operations.