The Herbert administration continues to be drawn like a moth to the flame of the Utah County I-15 bid scandal, getting singed every time. It's as though, having once set it alight, the governor and his people are helpless to keep themselves from flying into it again and again. It would be farcical were it not for the $13 million it cost the state, the reputations it has needlessly tarnished and the poor judgment it has repeatedly placed on display.
The latest chapter centers on Denice Graham. The Utah Department of Transportation fired her in April 2011. It said she had leaked confidential information about the $1.1 billion contract to rebuild I-15 through Utah County. However, an administrative law judged ordered her reinstated.
In the meantime, she has been negotiating with UDOT over $67,000 in back pay. As a condition of receiving that settlement, UDOT Executive Director John Njord requested that she sign a letter asking Democrats to quit using her name and case to beat up politically on the Republican Herbert administration. Njord also wanted her to write in the letter that the judge had made a mistake in reinstating her.