Salt Lake City — Together with the rest of Utah, the Alliance for a Better UTAH woke up this morning to the news that Representative Mike Noel has pushed forward with the absurd notion that the citizens of Utah should pick up the defense costs for his friend, Commissioner Phil Lyman. In response, Better UTAH founder and Board President, Josh Kanter, issued the following statement:
“Commissioner Phil Lyman made a choice – to violate the law in protest of BLM policy. For his actions, he got his day in court and he was found guilty. He is, of course, entitled to appeal that decision. For Lyman, and his like-minded friend Mike Noel, to suggest that the citizens of Utah should foot the bill for Lyman’s appeal represents a bravado fitting of these two.
Even those who support Lyman and Noel should be outraged by the suggestion that the people of Utah should pay for Lyman’s ongoing defense. Such a precedent would suggest that all government protesters are entitled to a public defense – a proposition that would be contrary to over two hundred years of jurisprudence. If this were somehow to come to pass, Lyman should be required to reimburse the people if his guilty verdict is upheld or if the payment of his defense costs is challenged – and we are confident that it will be challenged.”