Justin Miller Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Resigns House Seat
Democratic State Representative Justin Miller has resigned from his seat in the Utah House of Representatives and pleaded guilty to fraud. Miller, who represents House District 40 is accused of embezzling more than twenty thousand dollars from Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams’ re-election campaign.
Charges were filed Friday in 3rd District Court. House Democrats asked Miller to resign in June, about a month after the allegations surfaced. House Minority Leader Brian King says Miller made the right decision.
“I like to think that the pressure that we brought to bear in calling on him to resign was a clear signal that he needed to deal with his own personal issues and he needed to do it outside the legislature,” King says. “So I’m glad from that perspective that he’s resigned. I wish it would have come earlier.”
Miller said in a statement quote, “I understand the charges against me, and I take full responsibility for the mistakes I have made. My failure to communicate in a timely and transparent manner led to the loss of trust with my friend and colleague, Mayor McAdams. While this mistake occurred prior to my legislative service, I believe elected officials should be held to a higher standard- end quote
Miller said he’s cooperating with the ongoing federal investigation into Salt Lake County. That doesn’t make sense to Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gil. He says based on his conversations with the U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI, there is no reason to believe any investigation is underway.
“Given the history of the kind of statements that Mr. Miller has made, one can only surmise that he is allergic to the truth,” Gill says. “It’s unfortunate but I’m not going to have Salt Lake County be dragged into that.”
Miller could face up to 15 years in prison.
Democratic delegates in House District 40 will choose Miller’s successor, likely within the next month. That selection will be forwarded to the governor who will make the appointment.