Lt. Gov. Olene Walker Failed to File
Financial Reports for 10 Years!
(Alert for 5/4/04)
This report prepared by Dorothy
According to state statute, all state office candidates
are required to file financial reports (even if they
received no contributions or had no expenditures). The
Elections Office can admittedly offer no reports listing Olene
Walker during her tenure as Lieutenant Governor.
1. Walker Ignored
2. Walker Notified
of Her Failure to File
3. Lt. Gov. Walker
Was Not Criminally Prosecuted
Competence & Integrity Matter
6. TAKE ACTION!
1. Walker Ignored State Statute
During Olene Walker’s tenure as
Lieutenant Governor of Utah (1993 to 2003), she did not at any
time file a financial report as a state candidate for office
or as an officeholder as prescribed by Utah Election Laws.
Under state statute
20A-11-101, the definition of "state office candidates"
includes the Lieutenant Governor, and
20A-11-204 require "state office candidates" to file a
financial report, even if they received no contributions or
had no expenditures.
State office candidates who fail
to file in a timely fashion are supposed to be disqualified.
They are also supposed to receive a warning from the
lieutenant governor, and if they do not comply, they are
guilty of a class B misdemeanor. (State
2. Walker Notified of Her Failure to File
January 11, 2001, I notified Olene Walker of her failure
to comply with Utah Elections Laws by sending a copy of my
complaint to her and then-Attorney-General, Jan Graham.
Walker’s director of the Elections Division, Amy Naccarato,
replied in a letter dated February
"…This office has not
required lieutenant governor candidates to file a report
separate from the candidates for governor. The assumption is
that these candidates run on the same ticket and that their
campaign committees are one and the same. As long as the
disclosure is accurate and complete, the campaign committee
is considered to be in compliance with the law… If this law
applies to Olene Walker, as you claim, then it must apply to
all past lieutenant governor candidates. I can see no
benefit in interpreting the law to mean that all past
candidates for lieutenant governor are in violation of the
The statutory language is clear:
Each statewide candidate is required to file.
Governor Leavitt’s statement of
organization for his personal campaign committee filed in
2000 lists himself and the office of governor. There is no
mention in it of the lieutenant governor, and therefore it
provides no accountability for Olene Walker or her candidacy.
Ms. Naccarato, an employee in
the office that was headed by Olene Walker, implies that it is
acceptable behavior to continue to ignore statutes if they
have been ignored in the past.
3. Lt. Gov. Walker Was Not Criminally Prosecuted
I received another interesting
reply dated February 12, 2001,
from Colin R. Winchester, Assistant Attorney General (AAG)
under Mark Shurtleff, stating that,
"…A team of experienced
prosecutors and investigators in the Criminal Division of
the Attorney General’s Office has reviewed your complaint,
the facts, and the applicable laws, and has concluded that
there is no criminal violation at this time… The nature of
your complaint raises the need for a review and probable
amendment, of the financial reporting laws as they relate to
candidates for the office of lieutenant governor..."
AAG Winchester copied this
letter to Lieutenant Governor Walker and Ms. Naccarato, and
offered the assistance of the AG’s Office in that process
should they decide to pursue it in advance of the 2002
legislative session. The matter was ignored.
AAG Winchester’s response
provides clues as to a loophole that likely shielded Lt.
Governor Olene Walker from criminal prosecution. Notice the
wording that the AG’s Office found no criminal violations "at
this time". What does that mean? Consider
state statute 20A-11-206:
2(c)(i) It is
unlawful for any state office candidate to fail to file or
amend a summary report within 14 days after
receiving notice from the lieutenant governor under this
section. Each state office
candidate who violates Subsection (2)(c)(i) is guilty of a
class B misdemeanor. [Emphasis added.]
No misdemeanor criminal charges
can be filed unless the candidate who has failed to file first
receives a notice from… the lieutenant governor.
In other words, in order for
Walker to have been prosecuted, she would have had to have
given herself notice that she had failed to file!
4. More Irregularities
Walker is in particular
suspicion due to amounts paid to her by the Governors Special
Projects/Governors Spring Gala Committee Political Action
Committee(s) as noted in the following:
If these were campaign or
political contributions, they must be disclosed by the
recipient in accordance with the financial reporting
requirements of Utah law. However, since Olene Walker’s name
is not attached to a personal campaign committee, disclosure
is not possible.
There is also a $5,000.00 check
to the Lt. Governor’s Special Projects dated 9-15-97 that was
never accounted for, as Walker did not have a Political Action
Committee (PAC) at that time. What were all of these amounts
for? State law does not allow officeholders to receive
political contributions except through a campaign committee or
5. Conclusion: Competence & Integrity Matter
Lieutenant Governor’s web site makes clear the
penalties for other candidates who fail to
appropriately file their reports:
"Candidates for state
executive and legislative office are required to report
expenditures and contributions made to bring about their
nomination or election. The reports must be received in the
Lt. Governor's Office by 5 p.m. on the due date or clearly
postmarked 3 days before the due date. If a candidate fails
to file the required financial disclosure reports, the Lt.
Governor will disqualify the candidate and remove his or her
name from the ballot."
Should Utahns tolerate a Lt.
Governor, now occupying the office of governor, who failed to
file financial disclosure reports — particularly when her
office was responsible for enforcing the reporting
Not if competence in, and
respect for, the law matters.
228 West 3275 North
Ogden, Utah, 84414
6. TAKE ACTION!
Accountability Utah suggests
that citizens call Governor Olene Walker today at (801)
538-1000 and ask her why she did not file the required
financial reports for over 10 years as Lieutenant Governor.
If in fact she admits to making
an exception to the law for the sake of expediency, ask her
why you should trust her not to do the same with your
recipe: Take our information and opinion, research their
information and opinion (if it is available), and then examine
the law and draw your own conclusions. For more information on
similar issues, see the
Fraud, Waste, Abuse, & Ethics section of our Issues &
If you have comments or suggestions, please
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