John Daley and Richard Piatt ReportingAisza Wilde: "The interesting thing is that no crime has been committed and nobody seems to be bringing that out.”
Nancy Workman's daughter defends her mom in the case of the Mayor's alleged misuse of public funds. This as new allegations surface about another questionable county job.
Salt Lake County Mayor Nancy Workman had her day in court today--a preliminary hearing--on two felony charges. The case against her was bolstered by one of her top deputies.
Over the weekend--the Deseret Morning News first reported that Salt Lake County Mayor Nancy Workman paid a friend of her daughter's to redesign the county's web site -- work that never was done. The Mayor smiled and declined to answer any questions about that or anything else as she entered court this morning.
Once inside, today's preliminary hearing took all day. At issue--did Mayor Workman misuse about $17,000 in public funds when she hired a pair of bookkeepers who worked directly for her daughter, the chief financial officer at the Boys and Girls Club?
The Mayor's daughter, Aisza, testified she got no benefit from the arrangement. Later, the County's Chief Administrative Officer David Marshall said that the Mayor asked him to create a "community liason" position but never told him that the person was to work for her daughter at the Boys and Girls Club, which he says was clear violation of county policy and state law.
Aisza Wilde, Nancy Workman's Daughter: "It's not a benefit to me. It's not benefiting me in any way. If anything, I'm working 80 hours a week now instead of 70."
Bob Dunn, Exec. Director, So. Valley Boys & Girls Club: "Question: Do you see this as political, that's one argument the mayor has made? Answer: You know, I don't. I don't see it as political, no."
David Marshall, Chief Administrative Officer: "The information she gave me led me to believe this was to be an employee of Salt Lake County. I was never given any information that would have led me to believe otherwise."
David Marshall today also testified that he heard through third parties that he could lose his job over the Boys and Girls Club scandal. He also says he gave information about the new contract controversy to the District Attorney.
Today's hearing was meant to determine if the judge feels there's enough evidence for a trial in this case. Judge Robert Hilder ruled yes, so there will be a trial in this case. Whether there's time for that to happen before election day is another question.
Mayor Workman took a serious hit today in a number of different ways. It starts with her legal problems -- at this point, chances for a fast trial are dwindling. Her next hearing date is two whole weeks away, October 18th.
Politically, things are not looking good either. Today came the first public request for her to resign and withdraw from the race.
You might think Salt Lake County Democrats would keep waiting, letting Mayor Workman's situation play itself out. But today, Democrat council members Jim Bradley, Randy Horiuchi and Joe Hatch say on-going damage to Salt Lake County is so bad, it's getting so hard to get anything done; they just want her to go away.
Joe Hatch, Salt Lake County Council: "The three of us, Jim Bradley, Randy and I have come to the conclusion over the weekend that enough is enough. She needs to resign and withdraw from the race and, in my words, be gone."
Privately there are more than a few Republicans who feel the same way. But no one is saying anything publicly yet. After her hearing today, Workman seemed to be in shock--doubly so after hearing the position of the Democrats.
In the meantime, special prosecutor Michael Martinez says Workman's bind over for trial removes the political bias her campaign has been claiming.
Michael Martinez, Special Prosecutor: "By doing this, I do believe that the independent panel was validated. They thought the charges should be brought before a jury, and that's what the judge did."
Aside from the trial, pressure is now becoming intense for her to withdraw her name so a write in candidate can be named. Possible candidates for a write in have already been selected.
Also, the County Republican central committee will decide tomorrow what the party's recommendation should be. And it's looking increasingly bleak for Mayor Workman.