Sean Reyes was officially sworn in as the new Attorney General of Utah today in a ceremony at the State Capitol.
In a crowded Capitol Rotunda Sean Reyes took the oath of office to become Utah’s next Attorney General. The ceremony comes less than a year after former Attorney General John Swallow took the same oath, only later to resign in the midst of several investigations into his conduct. Reyes says his first job is to restore the public’s trust in his office.
“This is not going to all happen in one month, or even one year. Some of the culture change may take several years, but know this, it will begin today,” he says.
Beyond rebuilding the Attorney General’s office, Reyes will also immediately step into a fight over Utah’s Amendment 3. Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby overturned the law that banned gay marriage. Reyes says the office is already working with outside counsel to help them with their appeal to the 10th circuit court in Denver. They are also looking at more outside counsel to potentially help with an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Supreme Court practice is a very unique and specialized expertise, so again, our commitment to the people is that if we don’t have it internally than we’ll find the best to represent the state,” he says.
Hiring outside counsel could come at a cost of up to $2 million dollars or more. But Reyes says he doesn’t expect the price tag to prohibit their work.
“You know, we’re willing to spend whatever it takes to protect the laws and the will of the people," he says. "So, we don’t know the exact price tag, but that’s part of the process of evaluating and engaging outside counsel.
He says the office’s application with the Supreme Court for an emergency stay of Judge Shelby’s ruling will likely be filed by Tuesday. The deadline to file a brief of appeal to the 10th circuit court is January 27.