FOX13’s Ben Winslow reported on Alliance for a Better UTAH’s criticism of Representative Wayne Harper (R-Taylorsville) who last week wrote a letter in support of a convicted sexual abuser. Maryann Martindale, Better UTAH Executive Director, said
Here’s a sitting legislator, standing up for a convicted sex offender, and turning his back on the victim at the same time.
It was an inappropriate use of his position to try to sway the judge in his determination of a sentence.
Winslow contacted both Harper and the presiding judge who disregarded both the letters, which, according to Martindale, is what Better UTAH had been aiming for.
Harper has refused to apologize for his part in the incidence, claiming he never intended the judge to receiver the letter. Harper said the letter
Was not intended to cross the line of separation of powers.
Winslow noted that this isn’t the first time a sitting legislator has crossed an ethical boundary like this one. Last year Congressman Rob Bishop and State Senator Pete Knudson (R-Brigham City) wrote letters in defense of a Brigham City doctor who had been accused of illegally prescribing medicine.