Lawsuit • Action alleges mayor violated county campaign laws.
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A former Salt Lake County Republican Party leader filed a lawsuit on Wednesday accusing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Corroon of skirting county finance laws.
The lawsuit, filed by former county GOP Chairman James Evans, alleges that Corroon raised nearly $300,000 that exceeded the contribution limits that he signed into law as county mayor.
Specifically, those county rules limit contributions to $2,000 per person unless the donor is a contractor, in which case they are limited to $100 per election cycle. The objective was to prevent the appearance that contractors were buying influence, something that Corroon insinuated has gone on in the Herbert administration.
But Corroon established the Corroon Leadership Political Action Committee and has received dozens of contributions that exceed the county limits, some of them from county contractors, while he continues to serve as mayor.
"Corroon set up the Corroon Leadership PAC to try to get around the very campaign contribution limits he signed into law," Evans said. "I think it's fair to say that, at the very least, he is being hypocritical."
The Corroon campaign denied Evans' allegations.
"There's no substance or truth to what he's saying," said Corroon's campaign manager, Donald Dunn. "James Evans pops his head up at Halloween time to do his trick or treat."
Herbert campaign spokesman Don Olsen said he hadn't seen the lawsuit.
"If I had known anything about it, I would say, 'Don't do it.' The campaign would tell him not to do it," Olsen said.
Evans accused Dunn of working with his wife, Nichole, who is Corroon's deputy mayor, to steer money to a PAC they established years ago.
There was no activity reported in the PAC as of Aug. 31, but Evans claims the money has gone into the PAC since the last reporting period.
Evans is asking a judge to rule that Corroon must comply with the county campaign limits, ban him from soliciting contributions that don't comply with the caps and order him to return donations that don't comply.