Posts Tagged pay to play

If the guv didn’t know, why not?

PayToPlayKUTV is reporting that UDOT told Governor Gary Herbert’s Chief of Staff about the $13 million settlement to a losing bidder on a UDOT project prior to the governor’s press conference where he denied any knowledge of the settlement.

It was Monday, September 13th, that Governor Herbert held a news conference.

At that news conference, Herbert defended himself against accusations that his office is for sale.

But it was also at that same news conference, that UDOT’s Executive Director, John Njord, admitted the 13 million dollar payment had been made.

Almost immediately, the governor was asked if he knew about the payment?

Media: “Were you aware of that payment, governor?

Gov. Herbert: “No, this is the first I heard of it.”

But was this the first time the governor’s staff had heard about it?

Well, a UDOT spokesperson now tells ABC 4 it is not.

He also tells ABC 4 that in a Thursday, Sept. 9th phone conversation, four days before the governor’s news conference, Njord told the governor’s chief of staff, Jason Perry, that it had paid a settlement.

To which ABC 4 immediately asked, “Was the 13 million dollar figure discussed during that conversation?”

We were told, no, it was not.

Curiously, UDOT says Njord told Perry the exact amount Monday morning (again, Sept. 13th) before the governor’s 2pm news conference took place.

Which raises this question?

If the governor’s chief of staff was told about this before the governor’s news conference, did he really not tell the governor about it?

I can come up with only two possible explanations: Either the guv’s Chief of Staff is totally incompetent for not giving the governor this very important information, knowing it was the topic of the press conference. Or Herbert is lying.

What do you think?

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