Rep. Parker's Replacement Sworn In

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HYRUM, Utah (AP) -- Curt Webb was sworn in Monday as the newest member of the Utah House of Representatives, replacing former Rep. Brent Parker who abruptly resigned after being cited for soliciting a prostitute.

Webb, of Providence, was selected by Cache County Republicans during the weekend and approved by Gov. Mike Leavitt to complete Parker's term, which was to end in 2004.

Parker, in a handwritten resignation letter, left the Utah House on Friday.

"I appreciate this opportunity, although I realize the circumstances are sad and tragic. But I talked to Brent and I wished him the very best, he's a good man," Webb told his fellow representatives after the brief ceremony.

Webb won't have much time to adjust to the Utah Legislature. The 2003 session ends Wednesday at midnight.

Last Wednesday Parker, R-Wellsville, was cited for allegedly soliciting sex from a police officer posing as a male prostitute in Salt Lake City.

Webb, who lost to Parker in a primary race last fall, was picked at a special meeting Saturday, which drew 144 of the 185 GOP delegates from House District 5, despite the short notice.

The nomination of Webb, who is the manager of a title company, was endorsed by Rep. Loraine Pace, R-Logan, who said he would be a friend to Cache County citizens.

Parker, father of six and grandfather of six, runs a dairy farm in Mount Sterling.

Salt Lake City police say Parker solicited a male undercover officer just before midnight Wednesday near Exchange Place downtown. Parker drove to a secluded location a block away, where he offered the officer money for oral sex, according to a police report.

Parker was cited and released. He could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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