Diary

Republican Cover-up In Utah?

Not liking the sound of this. Republicans need a clean house if we’re to clean house in 2010 and 2012. Not claims of attorney client privilege from an AG with the Senate in mind.

Shurtleff already has a troubling history with Koerber, a charged felon in a Ponzi scheme. Now he may have lobbied Huntsman to lose the Commerce Secretary that did the investigation after first giving the guy a pass? Alleged reformers like that we simply don’t need within the ranks, especially now.

Former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. said he was under intense pressure to get rid of Commerce Department Director Francine Giani, but defended her as a strong public servant who was doing her job.

“I wanted no part of it,” Huntsman said in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune last week before leaving office.

Huntsman said he perceived the opposition to Giani resulting from “stylistic” differences. For his part, the former governor said he considered Giani to be a “tough” public servant and said “that’s the kind of person I wanted” working for him.

Huntsman would not say who was pushing for Giani’s dismissal and would not answer specifically whether Attorney General Mark Shurtleff was among those who sought Giani’s ouster.

Huntsman’s and Shurtleff’s offices have cited attorney-client privilege — the attorney general being legal counsel to the governor — as a reason not to disclose whether Shurtleff wanted Giani replaced.

Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, had urged Huntsman to replace Giani, believing the Commerce Department had abused its power in investigating Utah businesses, including Rick Koerber, the “Free Capitalist.” Koerber was a friend of Wimmer’s and has been charged with three felonies stemming from an alleged $100 million Ponzi scheme.