For the record, Jake has already admitted guilt and already paid a fine as a result of these allegations, which he claims, are false. If these allegations are false as he claims, then Jake should get a refund for the fine that he paid for not disclosing who paid for his trip to Europe. These allegations are complicated and no doubt Jake is in damage control and trying to minimize the fallout from these issues. I would hate to be in his situation. That is just one of the reasons that I avoided seeking out campaign donations from lobbyists and special interests.
The Hobbs Act (18 U.S.C. § 1951) is a very serious issue. It is a federal law that the LG’s office is not in a position to dismiss or adjudicate. Interestingly enough, when I first discussed these issues with the LG’s office they didn’t even know what the Hobbs Act was. They had however noticed that a financial disclosure from 2014 was updated 3 years later to change “JAKE ANDEREGG Travel expenses to China” to say “Travel Expense to Switzerland for Trade Mission”. For those that care about the facts, the trade mission to did not happen until the following year and 2 years after the family trip to China.
As legislators, we are required to regularly take training and certify that we understand and will abide by the Federal Hobbs Act and all other state and federal campaign disclosures. The Hobbs Act case law states that any money that an elected official accepts for personal use that is not from their employer is a BRIBE. IF the original disclosure from 2014 was accurate as it was originally written, then it would have been a clear violation of the Hobbs Act. This financial disclosure was on the Utah state’s web site for 3 years until it was recently changed. On a related note, I have been told by state attorneys that legislators CANNOT do fund raisers that benefit them personally. As Jake described in this SLTrib article he had been doing fund raisers for months to pay for his family’s trip to China: http://archive.sltrib.com/story.php?ref=/sltrib/news/56632376-78/ad...
As is reported in the letter from Justin Lee in the LG’s office this is an ongoing investigation that is not closed yet. The federal investigators, as far as I have heard, have not reviewed the details of the Hobbs Acts allegations.
I have no issues with Andrew Caprio. He is a great guy and a successful local businessman and has a great family.
I like Jeff Hartley. He is a good guy that is doing his job as a lobbyist. At some level I think that the Switzerland trip could be justified. However, the entire trip has been controversial and there has been very little explained about the subsequent trip to Italy.
Jake claims that these allegations are false, yet he has already admitted guilt and paid a fine that came as a result of allegations that originated with the phone call from Jeff Hartley. I do remember some important points from the phone call that Jeff Hartley left out of his letter that Jake circulated. If called to the stand to testify, I will have to state what I heard him say. As members of the LG’s office said in discussing these disagreements on the facts in this case, unless people are under oath and bank records are GRAMA’d then the truth is not known.