State Legislator Calls For Investigation of UTA Development

Aug 29, 2014

Republican state Senator Todd Weiler is asking the Attorney General’s office to take a closer look at a development deal involving the Utah Transit Authority, after an audit indicated a possible lack of proper oversight.

The legislative audit revealed that there are still questions about $10 million UTA paid to a developer to construct a parking structure at the Draper FrontRunner stop. The audit shows that the money was given to Draper Holdings before construction even started and before there were even any designs. The structure was eventually built by another developer, but Draper Holdings still hasn’t returned $1.7 million of the prepaid funds. Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, says he’s asking for the investigation because he wants to know where that money went.

“If indeed those moneys were converted to personal use or personal debt that, to me, sounds like it was a misappropriation of public taxpayer funds so I think it’s something the Attorney General should look into,” he says.

Weiler says while he thinks UTA has made mistakes and that employees should be held responsible, they appear to be implementing the changes requested by the audit.

“I’m not trying to do a victory dance or score any points," he says. "My only agenda is representing my constituents and I’ve been hearing from my constituents and they’re mad, they’re angry and they want more answers. And so, I’ve been pressing for those and I think that’s within the scope of my job.”

In an email response to KUER, UTA spokesman Remi Barron pointed out that the developer has entered into an agreement with UTA to pay back the $1.7 million. He says those funds are secured with collateral and that they expect to collect by 2015.

Weiler says he has meetings scheduled with UTA’s general manager and the attorney general sometime next week.