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A state ethics commission dismissed a complaint filed against a candidate in one of Salt Lake County's hottest municipal races on Tuesday after commissioners found the complaint to be "political."
The Utah Political Subdivisions Ethics Review Commission moved to dismiss a complaint filed against Michele Weeks, a Draper City councilwoman who is challenging incumbent Mayor Troy Walker, according to Brooke Harkness, executive director of the commission.
"One today got dismissed," said Harkness, referring to the complaint against Weeks, adding the commission decided "this is just political stuff."
Ongoing complaints being reviewed by the commission are supposed to be confidential, Harkness said. The Tribune obtained parts of the complaint earlier this month but waited to write about them until the commission decided on the matter.
After confirming the complaint's dismissal in a phone call Tuesday, Harkness tried to prevent publication of the story by saying if The Tribune went ahead, Weeks would face unspecified sanctions.
"If you do do that story," Harkness said, "we're going to impose sanctions on Michele Weeks for giving you the information."
The dismissed complaint against Weeks from a Draper resident followed allegations by the City Council that a letter she wrote this year in the city-funded newsletter amounted to inappropriate political speech. In the letter, Weeks pointed readers to a Facebook page she manages that she said allows residents to easily track city happenings. Walker wondered during a City Council hearing in March whether the letter was illegal, minutes from the meeting show.
Weeks hired former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff to represent her in the matter and he wrote to council members warning them not to publicly discuss "false" allegations.
The City Council voted in May to approve an outside attorney who would look into a string of emails Weeks sent, some of which were proofread by a city staffer.
Draper City Attorney Mike Barker said the review was ongoing, but he expected an update soon. The city didn't set a budget for the inquiry.