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Conflicts of Interest

March 13, 2012

Utah law requires elected officials to disclose any conflicts of interests, which are defined to mean “an action that is taken by a regulated officeholder that the officeholder reasonably believes may cause direct financial benefit or detriment to the officeholder, a member of the officeholder’s immediate family, or an entity that the officeholder is required to disclose under the provisions of this section, and that benefit or detriment is distinguishable from the effects of that action on the public or on the officeholder’s profession, occupation, or association generally.” Utah Code Ann. § 76-8-109.

Utah law further provides that “Before or during any vote on legislation or any legislative matter in which a legislator has actual knowledge that the legislator has a conflict of interest which is not stated on the financial disclosure form required . . . the legislator shall orally declare to the committee or body before which the matter is pending that the legislator may have a conflict of interest and what that conflict is.”

One of the great advantages Utah has is its citizen legislature. By contrast, California has career legislators who meet year round and are paid commensurate salary. The advantages of a part-time legislature are many. The one notable disadvantage is that people like me have to have a real job in order to support their families. Currently, Utah’s Senate is comprised of attorneys, businessmen, bankers, property managers, educators, engineers, CPA’s, nurses, dentists, orthodontists, social workers, and a non-profit director.

To my knowledge, all 104 legislators have conflicts of interest and have filed the required disclosures. I filed my first one on January 11, 2012 — the day after I was elected by the delegates to replace Dan Liljenquist. I have since updated it as circumstances have dictated.

Prior to running for the state senate, I worked as an attorney with Dorsey & Whitney in Salt Lake. In fact, I have worked for three different law firms since I graduated from BYU in 1996. When I joined Dorsey in 2007, I was aware that the Partner’s Handbook prohibited attorneys from running for elected office. So I knew that I would have to change jobs if and when I sought public office.

On November 11, 2012, I joined Logistic Specialties, Inc. (“LSI”) in Layton as Vice President/General Counsel. LSI was one of my clients at Dorsey, and is a great company. In fact, it was honored as the Business of the Year by the Davis Chamber in 2009. The CEO, Sean Slatter, approached me that year about joining the company.

We talked about it for a few months but the timing was not right. After Dan Liljenquist let me know he would be resigning and encouraged me to run for his seat, I let LSI know that I was interested in pursuing an in-house position. I was very fortunate to be able to land a good job in spite of the economy. I took this position before Dan resigned, and without the benefit of knowing who my political opponents would be.

LSI was founded in 1972, and provides business development and logistical support solutions for its customers through Strategy, Business Development Process, Business Development Training, Capture Management, Proposal Development, Program Support, Economic Development and Logistical Solutions. Its clients include Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Goodrich, DyCorp, ATK, Deloitte, L3, Cobham and Price Waterhouse Coopers.

In 2006, LSI began working with the Utah Office of Economic Development in a Utah Procurement Team (“UPT”) pilot program to provide economic development services to Utah companies. A recent legislative audit revealed that for every $1 that the state invested in the UPT, Utah companies have been awarded $305 in business. As of 2012, LSI had assisted Utah companies in obtaining $518 million dollars of new business, which provided $47 million in tax revenues to the state. After five years, UPT placed the contract for competitive bids and LSI won that proposal process in 2011. After LSI won the bid, a new contract was inked in February 2012. At that time, I immediately updated my financial disclosure to reflect the change of circumstances. I can honestly state that as a state senator I have neither attempted nor had any influence whatsoever with that contract, which was awarded before I even filed to run. In addition, LSI will be performing essentially the same services for GOED that it has performed since 2006.

LSI is a great company, and I am proud to be associated with it. I have fully complied with not only the law, but my personal ethical standards. I will not sell out my integrity as your state senator!

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