Dear Fellow Utahn,
It has been an honor and privilege to serve you and the State of Utah over the past several months. I feel my team and I have accomplished much in a short time. We have lived up to many campaign commitments I made, including an immediate audit of office resources with more audits to come and ongoing restructuring of key leadership positions. In addition, we worked closely with the legislature during the past two months to fine tune many bills and to obtain much needed funding for the office. At the same time, our team identified inefficiencies in our office and budget and returned money back to the state to demonstrate our commitment to fiscal conservatism and responsibility.
We have abolished the use of administrative subpoenas in our office to protect privacy interests while still having tremendous success apprehending dangerous suspects who threaten our families and children on the Internet, in school and on the streets. We have worked to reform asset forfeiture, search procedures and deter intrusive tracking of citizen information through various means.
We have also focused efforts on visiting rural counties, dealing with a number of county/federal law enforcement issues and pushing forward on public lands lawsuits and education. This includes pressing on with RS 2477 Road cases, coordinating resources for a possible lawsuit on federal lands and filing or joining lawsuits against the EPA in multiple venues. Significantly, we have shown Utah's support for 2nd Amendment protections by joining West Virginia in its Supreme Court battle and other states in fighting against the Obama Administration's attempts to weaken gun rights.
We are cracking down on white collar fraud cases and defending Utah businesses. I am pleased to report recent victories in numerous large fraud and class action settlements returning millions of dollars back to the state. We have dedicated significant time to programs protecting against identity theft, particularly in the undocumented immigrant community. In a short time, we have expanded resources to protect abused children while emphasizing and being respectful of parental and family rights.
Our office has also recruited back key personnel and is assessing numerous proposals to recruit, train and retain additional top flight talent. We are addressing pay raises to promote hiring and retention, increasing internal morale, and developing training resources for issues such as document and email retention, and conflicts of interest and ethics. To promote transparency, we have produced tens of thousands of documents pursuant to GRAMA requests.
I am very proud of the legal team of constitutional and Supreme Court experts we have assembled with our office to protect the sanctity of traditional marriage and Utah's constitutional right to define marriage. The dedication and caliber of work by this team in defending Amendment 3 and other Utah laws has been remarkable. Their professionalism, hard work and commitment will serve Utah well at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals argument on April 10 and quite possibly before the United States Supreme Court this year.
And those are just a few of the things we have achieved since I took the oath of office Dec. 30. While I haven't had time to move my belongings into the office or decorate walls, I have poured everything I have into the duties of the office.
I am encouraged that with more time in the office, I can continue to work alongside the many excellent AG attorneys and staff to defend and protect Utah. I will continue to focus my time and energies on the vital business of the state and work diligently to regain the public’s trust in the Attorney General’s Office. While secondary to my principal responsibilities, campaigns are an important part of the political and public service process. With regard to the AG race, I look forward to healthy and respectful discussions of issues and wish all candidates who enter the best of luck. I will work hard on my campaign and appreciate so many of you who have volunteered to help.
While there are seemingly endless legal decisions, policy issues and operational efficiencies to manage in the office, I was pleased to be able to take a little time with KUTV2’s Shauna Lake few weeks ago to share my thoughts about my new role as Utah AG, my family’s unwavering support, and my vision for the office.
To watch the KUTV2 interview, please click below:
I look forward to seeing many of you at upcoming meet and greet events and hope you will participate in the 2014 State Republican Party Neighborhood Caucus Election night on Thursday March 20th that starts at 7:00 p.m.
In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact me before then with questions. If you are interested in following up on the progress being made in the AG office, please visit http://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/ or call me. My door is always open.
Sean D. Reyes
Utah Attorney General