Pair voice concerns about donations

Nov 17 2010 - 3:53pm

OGDEN -- Complainants in a Utah Department of Public Safety Investigations Bureau report held a news conference Tuesday afternoon, dissecting why they believe Envision Ogden engaged in political corruption during the Ogden City Council elections in November 2007.

Dan Schroeder, a Weber State University professor, and state Rep. Neil Hansen, D-Ogden, spoke before a crowd of about 25 people at the Weber County Main Library.

The pair gave a PowerPoint presentation, highlighting the report, that showed why they believe city council candidates Blain Johnson and Royal Eccles received about $20,000 in campaign contributions through illegal means in 2007.

According to the report, campaign donations were made by Envision Ogden but funneled to Johnson and Eccles through a second organization known as Friends of Northern Utah Real Estate.

The April 2009 report, prepared by DPS investigator Jim Vaughn, lists Johnson and Abraham Shreve, a Realtor and the head of Envision Ogden, as suspects.

Names of several other suspects were redacted from the report.

Hansen and Schroeder say money from a $120-per-plate dinner Envision Ogden held at the Ben Lomond Hotel in February 2007 -- an event touted to promote outdoor recreation and welcome Amer Sports Corp. -- was funneled to FNURE and to the campaigns of Johnson, who is no longer on the city council, and Eccles, who failed to win election.

Hansen and Schroeder say a number of potential offenses were committed by the parties involved, including violation of city campaign finance disclosure laws, communications fraud and money laundering.

This topic is being discussed at The Weber County Forum.

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