Utah legislator rips D.C. while raking in federal cash

Ultimately, the Kane County Water Conservancy District envisions up to 700 connections in the area of Strawberry Ridge, including Zion View, the mostly primitive Skyhaven Mountain Retreat subdivision and 200 acres of undeveloped school-trust lands in the county.

But if the Alliance for a Better Utah has anything to say about it, Noel won’t be leading the effort.

In December, the progressive-leaning group filed a federal Hatch Act complaint against Noel over his dual roles as a state legislator and top executive for the Kane County Water Conservancy District.

Noel has said his status as an independent contractor with the water district will thwart the complaint, now under review by the U.S. Office of General Counsel.

Regardless of the case’s outcome, Bill Allison, editorial director for the nonpartisan, nonprofit good-government group, the Sunlight Foundation, sees a clear conflict of interest here.

“He’s sitting in both chairs and wearing both hats,” Allison said. “There are all kinds of ways this can be problematic.”

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