Salt Lake County Auditor Greg Hawkins wants to take the County Council to court over the governing body's decision to move the county's budget office from the auditor's domain to that of the county mayor. Legally, that's his right, perhaps even his duty, if the auditor can make the case that the proposed change harms not just his own influence, but the public interest.
But in the court of public opinion, Hawkins is proving to be the best witness against himself. It is hard to buy the argument that a public official who wants to evade the county's normal procurement process and bill the taxpayers an exorbitant hourly rate in order to hire a former business partner is the best person to be drafting the county's budgets.
Even Hawkins' fellow Republicans on the council suggested Tuesday that it is the auditor who needs oversight, putting aside his request to hire outside counsel until he goes through the proper channels.