Ethics Complaints Substantiated against former Davis County Republican Party Chair Rob Anderson
Press Release, November 2, 2017
In a closed executive session on Thursday, November 2, 2017, the Davis County Republican Party Ethics Committee released their finding to the DCRP Executive Committee of a substantiated claim against former DCRP Chair Rob Anderson.
The Ethics Committee reported their findings after a long and arduous effort by the committee.
The complaint was initially filed, on October 16, 2015. In the process of the investigation, the accused, Rob Anderson, when asked to answer questions in relation to the charges responded through his attorney, David Irvine.
Irvine, with Anderson present, informed the ethics committee that if they proceeded with any further investigation he would bring suit against each individual member of the ethics committee on Anderson’s behalf. He based this threat on a supposed loophole within the constitution of the DCRP, which, according to Irvine, left ethics committee members vulnerable due to lack of protection from potential lawsuits. Under this threat, one ethics committee member resigned. The remaining committee members, fearful to proceed due to a question of legal indemnification, suspended their work on the investigation.
At the DCRP County Convention on April 16, 2016, efforts to clarify indemnification language in the constitution “regarding the ethics committee members” failed under the Anderson administration, after misleading statements were made about the impact of indemnification on the DCRP.
As a result, the ethics committee postponed the investigation of the complaints until further action to indemnify them could be taken.
With the change of party leadership in May of 2017, it was discovered that Anderson had removed the ethics committee from the liability insurance policy held by the DCRP shortly after the 2016 County Convention without discussion or consent of the County Central Committee or executive committee.
On June 22, 2017, the DCRP County Central Committee voted overwhelmingly to indemnify ethics committee members. The vote followed after a discussion of the abuse of the committee due to legal threat and their need to be protected against such political intimidation.
Following indemnification, the ethics committee resumed their investigation of the ethics complaints against Anderson resulting in a finding of a substantiated complaint of “behavior unbecoming an officer of the DCRP” as reported to the executive committee on November 2, 2017.
“His tactics of intimidation have brought substantial harm to the party in impeding the work of fairness, order and justice” according to ethics committee members. The real and personal affect on the ethics committee has had a long and lasting impact, taking almost two years to finish the investigation, while throughout the process they worked under threat.
While the executive committee was not apprised of specific details, the ethics report did specify that the threatening behavior toward their committee was unfair to appointed members who work on a voluntary basis to support the workings of the party. In addition, undue stress has also been placed on the current administration to overcome the affects of this intimidation in order to have the ethics committee fully functional again and for order to be restored.
The workings of the ethics committee are very confidential as stipulated by the DCRP Constitution and Bylaws, however, part of the complaint and some of the specifics regarding it were leaked to the press in 2016. This satirical and slanted article is believed to be aimed at shutting down the ethics committee and others and to dissuade any future allegations from being brought forward. (Rolly: Signature-gathering firm goes from villain to hero for Utah GOP, archive.sltrib.com).
“In a world where it seems no one is held accountable for unethical behavior it is gratifying to see the ethics committee rebound and come forward with their finding in a courageous manner,” said Teena Horlacher, current chair of the DCRP.
The remedy determined by the executive committee of the DCRP includes this public explanation and statement. In addition, this statement will be released to all Republican County Executive Committees, State Central Committee members and all media.
Contact: Teena Horlacher
Chair of the Davis County Republican Party