“It’s clearly a political stunt because this is having success throughout the West and throughout the nation.”
That’s West Jordan Republican Rep. Ken Ivory responding to complaints against him that he defrauded local governments out of taxpayer money promising to return federal lands to the states. Now, Ivory has also been accused of breaking lobbying laws. Anne Weismann, executive director of Campaign for Accountability, the group which filed the complaints, said that Ivory walked a fine line between his job as an elected official and his role as president of the American Lands Council.
“I think he has blurred the lines between his responsibility to the citizens of Utah as a state legislator and his responsibility to the American Lands Council,” Weismann said. “In each of our letters we also pointed out that he appears to be lobbying, yet he hasn’t complied with any of the states’ lobbying requirements.”
Ivory has denied the allegations, citing legal precedents for the transfer of federal lands. He also claimed that the money he personally received from the American Lands Council is part of his salary as the organization’s president. Weismann said that she questions who really benefits from Ivory’s work.
“He is inducing local government officials to pay him taxpayer money on the promise that he can deliver something he can’t deliver,” she said. “What are the real interests behind what Ken Ivory is peddling? I think that also warrants a very close look.”
The complaints were filed with the Utah, Arizona, and Montana Attorneys General.