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New Utah House Speaker Joins Law Firm

New Utah House Speaker Joins Law Firm

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Utah House of Representatives' next speaker may be stepping into controversy by joining a law firm that represents big land developers.

Greg Curtis says he's joining Hutchings, Baird & Jones, which aggressively defends developers from local governments trying to control growth.

The firm also has sued not-in-my-backyard critics for slander -- so-called SLAPP suits.

Its clients include Anderson Development, Ivory Homes, Woodbury Corporation and Suncrest.

Curtis, a Sandy Republican, says there's no conflict of interest -- his law firm won't lobby the Legislature. He rejects criticism, saying he needs to be employed.

Curtis who resigned last summer as general counsel to Salt Lake County Mayor Nancy Workman in the wake of a scandal involving personal use of county vehicles. Curtis was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.

Save Our Canyons president Gale Dick says the idea of a House speaker joining a law firm that represents developers is troubling.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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