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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Contempt

By Lyle Hillyard
Utah State Senator, District 25

The front page of today's Logan Herald Journal said "Logan senator held in contempt."

It’s not true.

Earlier this month I received papers asking me to appear for jury duty. I am willing to do so, although I would likely be one of the first invited to leave because I’m a trial attorney. The problem was that they asked me to appear on the same day the Senate had scheduled an Extraordinary Session to – ironically – confirm new judges. We also confirm other gubernatorial appointees and work in committees throughout the day.

I called the Jury Clerk and explained. She told me just to write a letter of explanation to the Court. I did. Due to a staff miscommunication, that letter was not faxed to the Court until the afternoon before I was supposed to be in both places. We also delivered a hard copy of the letter. Although I didn’t see a deadline on any of the papers I received, they said my letter arrived too late. I can appreciate that.

On Saturday, I received a request for me and eight others to appear before the judge and explain why we were absent last Wednesday. I will do so and plan to abide by whatever decision or penalty he feels is appropriate.

There’s a significant difference between being cited on a question of contempt and actually being held in contempt. Most of the details in the Logan Herald Journal story were accurate, but the first part, including the headline, was dead wrong, and a little inflammatory. Most people get their impressions of the news from the headlines. I hope the papers can correct the misinformation before it does any damage.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least they printed a good picture of you!

4/26/2007 3:30 PM  
Blogger theorris said...

Civic duty calls!

4/26/2007 6:13 PM  
Anonymous David Langford, O.D. said...

They throw out titillating headlines just to grab attention regardless of the consequences. This type of journalism is irresponsible. News outlets should realize that reporting a news item is neither entertainment nor a venue to promote one ideology over another.

This small business owner will not be advertising in the Herald Journal any time soon.

4/26/2007 8:06 PM  
Blogger Misty said...

I can't help but breathe a sigh of relief when those in power see what the rest of us have to go through when dealing with the government. I'm not "happy" that you had to go through that, but then again I do kind of wish that all of you would get reminders like this every once in a while, so that you don't forget what it's like to be a regular person. Maybe then, there would be a few less hoops for us to jump through.

4/27/2007 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.slideshare.net/Mormons4justice/utahs-wolves-in-sheeps-clothing-part-1

5/16/2007 8:42 PM  

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