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McAdams Spars With Former Campaign Manager Over Theft, Corruption Allegations

Utah State Representative Justin Miller is being accused of embezzling money from Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams campaign fund. The freshman democrat denies the accusation, calling it political retaliation for whistleblowing.

Justin Miller is also Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams former campaign manager. McAdams told reporters Wednesday turning the information over to law enforcement was a sad moment but it was not a hard decision.

“For me and my administration, trust is paramount,” McAdams said.  

Here in a tape KUER obtained from the Sake County District Attorney’s office. Mayor McAdams can be heard confronting Miller back in October about thousands of dollars in campaign funds that had gone missing.

“What I know is at the very least, a check for $24,000 was written by you to you and you never fessed up to it,” he said. “From April 29th, until there was no other choice in September. And then you admitted to 10,000. So at the very least Justin, I have good reason to believe that you have embezzled $24,000.”

Miller was fired from the McAdams for Mayor Campaign last August for what McAdams says was performance-related reasons. But in December, Miller delivered a notice of claim to the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office alleging his termination and allegations of theft are retaliatory. Months before his termination Miller challenged the legality of the mayor’s dealings with public affairs firm The Exoro Group.  Here’s Miller:

“As a whistleblower I knew in August that McAdams actions today were possible and I’m deeply saddened by the loss of the personal and professional relationship with the office,” Miller said. “But ultimately I feel I’m doing the right thing and I stand by my actions.”

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gil says Miller’s wrongful termination claim was found to be without merit. Because this case involves Salt County Officials, he has turned over the investigation to Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings who will determine if criminal charges are warranted.  

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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