330 Days & Counting

Written By: admin - Aug• 30•14

No Records, No Signed Affidavits, No more Mediation

Normally, getting a GRAMA request (freedom of information) usually takes 10 days or less.

But in Cedar Hills, when asking for the Mayor and other city official’s email records, things suddenly get very, very complicated.

In 2012, an GRAMA request for email records took over 210 days, but victory was awarded by the Utah State Records Committee when it ORDERED to the City of Cedar Hills to gather the requested email of city business emails from all  email accounts, personal, city or from wherever.  (“APPEAL GRANTED” see case #12-11 “UPHELD” http://archives.utah.gov/src/srcappeals-2010-2012.html )

Unfortunately, many of the city business email records were kept on personal email accounts and allow to be destroyed by three out-going Council members Jim Perry, Marisa Wright and Ken Kirk.  We’ll probably never know what was in those email, reminding us of the current Lois Lerner / IRS scandal of mysteriously “destroyed” emails.

Additionally, we could never understand how the Mayor Gygi and Council could justify spending $30,000 in legal fees, in order to collect $766 in fees from the GRAMA requestors?

More recently, the delays got worse.  The original GRAMA request that began October 1, 2013, has now taken 330 days and still counting, with several overlapping GRAMA requests, negotiations and mediations, requesting the same email and text, with no records yet provided.  It takes a lot of expensive attorney fees to withhold public records.

The original GRAMA request (or Freedom of Information) that began October 1, 2013, has now taken 330 days and still counting, with no records from our GRAMA Request yet provided.  And the clock continues to tick.

Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government (CHCRG) and 26 member-signers, along with the Daily Herald, and radio talk show hosts Tim Alders and Sam Bushman, signed similar GRAMA requests for these same public business email and text records.  Still no results.

Mayor Gygi, city officials and the city attorney, have been caught in numerous falsehoods during the mediation process with the Utah State Records Ombudsmen Rosemary Cundiff, when their questionable legal strategies were exposed.  According to emails it appears that the City has now indirectly rejected the mediation process, however we don’t have that in writing from the City Manager, who is responsible for doing so.

As a compromise, the City asked our requests to be narrowed, in exchange for their signed Affidavits under penalty of perjury, that would PROVES they were telling the truth about their email and text records.  They’ve since refused to sign mutually agreeable under penalty of perjury Affidavits.
No Records, No Signed Affidavits, No more Mediation?
The reason honesty is so important is if city officials are misleading in small things, what about larger issues?

Could this all be part of a larger cover-up in Cedar Hills government?

See the Daily Herald article below…

State records office denies Cedar Hills group’s records request

August 24, 2014 6:37 pm  •  Cathy Allred Daily Herald

CEDAR HILLS – The Utah State Archives records officer has refused a records request for communication records — emails and texts — between Cedar Hills city officials and the State Government Records ombudsman, Rosemary Cundiff.

For complete article see…

Bravest Cedar Hills Councilman — is Rob Crawley!

Written By: admin - Aug• 09•14

Mayor Gary Gygi is pushing for a $2 million bond (tax increase) for pressurized irrigation meters on every home

Mayor Gygi promoted, and the Council awarded, his business associate Richard Nobel a $10,000 water study contract.
Councilman Rob Crawley proposed trying to avoid the bond tax increase through alternating water days, as other cities successfully used.  His proposal was ignored by Mayor Gygi & other Council members.
Bravely, Councilman Crawley published a public posting, against the Mayor & some Council members, saying he sees it a conflict of interest for CH religious leader Richard Nobel to provide a $10,000 water metering feasibility study that may propose, and also be considered for a $2 million P.I. meter installation contract.  (see his two postings from Cedar Hills Forum below)
Council Crawley says that out of respect and protection for his Church and Richard Nobel’s reputation / ethics is declaring in advance he will NOT VOTE FOR on any such a proposed contract.

CEDAR HILLS CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT applauds Councilman ROB CRAWLEY for his brave and honorable leadership on this important issue!

Please come to a special Town Hall Meeting, Thursday August 14th, 7:00 p.m. at the CH Golf Clubhouse.

Highlights from Councilman Rob Crawley’s posting at www.aboutcedarhills.org…

Rob Crawley – Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:16 am

I am at odds with some in the city on the issue of pressurized irrigation metering. I would like to see us have a few years of education and maybe even tough restrictions before spending $2 Million on meters. The jury is still out for me (and others on the council I think) because we are gathering a lot more information this year than we had last year regarding usage. Also, we are in the middle of an outside study that should help us.

My only concern with the outside study is that the same group that is doing our pressurized irrigation study and will be coming up with recommendations is the group that is a front-runner for getting the business of designing the pressurized irrigation metering system.

I am never in favor of putting a good person such as Richard Noble in a position of a possible conflict of interest. Although, I consider him a great man and above abusing this position, I would not vote for his group to do any work on a project that they did the feasibility study on, just because it would look bad to others that may not know him as well as I feel that I do. For the record, I will not vote for his group to do any work on the system if they recommend doing the system because we are relying on them to give us an independent opinion. (emphasis added)

I believe stating this at this point, may in itself reduce any conflict of interest possibilities.

To thank & support & ask questions, contact Councilman Rob Crawley at rcrawley@cedarhills.org

Please encourage and applaud other Council members who join Rob’s reasonable and wise position.



HERALD: CH Mayor Gygi & officials back-peddle on signing Affidavits that would prove their honesty

Written By: admin - Jun• 30•14

Cedar Hills leaders stand their ground: no money, then no records, they say

Cathy Allred Daily Herald / Sunday June 29, 2014 – front page

CEDAR HILLS — City leaders are standing their ground about releasing any information, including signed affidavits, for those seeking information through the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA).

Cedar Hills city officials and north Utah County residents who have made records requests of the city reached a mediation agreement that city leaders would sign and notarize affidavits stating the elected officials and city staff did not conduct government business through personal emails, texts or phones.

“As of yesterday, I looked into the audio recording of the meeting and they said that they will. That is a real simple thing just to sign the affidavit,” said Ken Cromar, Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government (CHCRG) representative and former council member.

At a mediation meeting earlier this month with a state official, city leaders said they were ready to sign an affidavit according to Sam Bushman, a nationally syndicated talk show host for LibertyRoundTable.com and Cromar, who recorded the session.

So far those affidavits have not been produced.

Because of the discrepancy in expectations from the mediation meeting, the mediator Utah State Records Ombudsman Rosemary Cundiff is seeking to arrange a second mediation session.

Cedar Hills mayor, Gary Gygi, said the city staff and representatives would not be agreeing to another mediation meeting.

Read the complete article…




Daily Herald GUEST OPINION: Call for change in Utah County Attorney’s office – plus various links

Written By: admin - Jun• 24•14

Today is primary election day in Utah, when parties vote on who will represent them on the ballot in November.  Because most of Utah County is Republican, races are often decided in June, — today.

This website is for the purpose of information and documentation as a public service to Cedar Hills residents.  While we are very attentive to the facts that relate to Cedar Hills and county governments, Cedar Hill Citizens for Responsible Government (CHCRG) does not endorse candidates.  This articles and links posted below are provided at the latest possible moment so as to be timely, and document this snapshot of time, of how the County Attorney’s Office has directly and adversely impacted Cedar Hills residents and others.



Call for change in Utah County Attorney’s office

Daily Herald – June 22, 2014 12:00 am  •  Roger and Pamela Mortensen

Roger & Pamela Mortensen were wrongly imprisoned for five months by the County Attorney Jeffrey Buhman charged with murder of Kay Mortensen (Roger’s father). They wrote the following Opinion piece, which included, “We spent many months in jail and were very near trial before what we believe was an act of God — an informant revealed the identities of the real murderers.”

County Attorney responds to editorial

Daily Herald - June 22, 2014 5:18 pm  •  Jeff Buhman

“The Utah County Attorney’s Office makes prosecution decisions based only on the law and the evidence. When given evidence by potential suspects that is inculpatory, inconsistent and untrue, we and the police (and grand juries and judges) can make incorrect decisions. However, if we make an incorrect decision, we immediately correct it, as we did in this case.”

For complete article… http://www.heraldextra.com/news/opinion/utah-valley/county-attorney-responds-to-editorial/article_f9f9c120-3630-5b63-9360-686b0b6cac6c.html


County attorney race: Experience vs. Change

June 14, 2014 2:00 pm  •  Billy Hesterman Daily Herald

Related Links

•    Ben Stanley website http://voteben.com

•    Jeff Buhman website http://countyattorneybuhman.com

PROVO — Utah County voters will have to ask themselves if they are satisfied with the status quo or if it is time for a change in the county attorney’s office when they head to the polls in the Republican primary election on June 24.

For complete article… http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/county-attorney-race-experience-vs-change/article_f21e6c52-c296-5756-a97c-8b4c4b142bbd.html



County attorney race: Focusing on past cases

June 14, 2014 4:00 pm  •  Paige Fieldsted DAILY HERALD

The Utah County Attorney race is bringing past cases back into the spotlight as incumbent Jeff Buhman works to defend the decisions made by him and his office against the accusations from his challenger Ben Stanley.

For complete article… http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/county-attorney-race-focusing-on-past-cases/article_ab85578e-c330-5043-9bd0-a4169a48dc73.html



My Opinion: Utah Co Attorney’s Office – A Culture of Intimidation & Abuse of Power

Written By: admin - Jun• 21•14

My Opinion: Utah County Attorney’s Office – A Culture of Intimidation and Abuse of Power

A Special Message from Representative Brian Greene

Dear Utah County Neighbor,

As an elected representative of the people, I feel obligated to express my profound disappointment in our current County Attorney, Jeff Buhman, and to reinforce the call to end his tenure in that position during this primary election cycle. From the start, Mr. Buhman’s campaign has been rife with false claims and misinformation about his challenger, Ben Stanley; but, most recently, he has resorted to abusing the power of his office to improperly obtain and disclose private records in a misguided attempt to discredit his challenger. Sadly, Mr. Buhman’s campaign is but a reflection of the mindset employed in the administration of our County Attorney’s office: win at all costs.  Mr. Buhman’s conduct reveals that he clearly does not understand that neither winning re-election, nor being ”tough on crime,” require the abandonment of principles or violation of law.

As disappointing as the level of negativity and misrepresentation of his challenger’s experience and qualifications is, Mr. Buhman’s personal assaults on the character of citizens who support Ben Stanley are reprehensible and inexcusable. Such tactics demonstrate a penchant for abuse and intimidation that has no place in government—especially in an office charged with upholding law and order.

In addition to his demonstrated lack of integrity, as a seasoned County Attorney, Mr. Buhman is certainly aware of the statutory prohibitions against (a) making false statements about another candidate (see, Utah Code § 20A-11-1103), and (b) the public disclosure of private records (see, Utah Code § 63G-2-302(1)(g)). Yet, neither a devotion to civility and integrity (which are indispensible character traits for anyone holding his office), nor a commitment to abide by the law has restrained Mr. Buhman in his “win at all costs” pursuit of victory. Such blind ambition and premium on victory have bred a culture of indifference to justice in our County Attorney’s office—a culture that may ultimately threaten the liberty of every Utah County citizen. 

In my opinion—which is shaped by my years of experience as an attorney in Utah County—it is time to replace Mr. Buhman with a new public servant committed to putting our County Attorney’s office back on the side of the citizens.  We have recently witnessed in our Utah Attorney General’s office the kind of institutional corruption that can quickly evolve when we, the voters, fail to demand change at the first sign of impropriety. Let’s not allow our County Attorney’s office to experience the same fate.

In recent years, I have come to know Ben Stanley very well, and I know that he is committed to integrity and the rule of law. I am 100% confident that he has the skill, knowledge and character to be an effective County Attorney, and that he will faithfully represent the interests of Utah County and its citizens. Please join with me in electing Ben as our next Utah County Attorney.

Brian Greene
State Representative – LD57, Pleasant Grove & American Fork



State Records Committee votes 7 to 0 requiring 7-year email preservation

Written By: admin - Jun• 14•14
The following Public comment was read at the State Records Committee regarding how many years email should be required to be kept by local governments like Cedar Hills.
Originally the Committee was considering three years.  After considering a three year requirement, the Committee allowed public comment.
Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government (CHCRG) members suggested that with modern technology the need to destroy records to create space no longer exists.  The Attorney General’s Office wrote a letter surprising most everyone recommending 7-years.  (see Utah Archives Blog posting for May 20, 2014 at http://recordskeepers.wordpress.com )
The following letter from CHCRG was read before the Records Committee at their 9 a.m. meeting June 12, as follows:
June 12, 2014 – 8:30 a.m.

To the Esteemed Records Committee Members,

Thank you for your thoughtful and generous service to the public as a member of the State Records Committee.  Few will ever know or appreciate the time you devote to the cause of promoting “the public’s right of easy and reasonable access to unrestricted public records”.  (63G 2-102-3(a))

As you know, Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government, an ad hoc taxpayers group, has struggled in “easily and reasonably” obtaining city business email records from our City, whose 12-month policy of email destruction made our effort to watch our local government incredibly difficult.  We may be visiting your Committee again soon, despite 8-months of behind the scenes effort to avoid that need, by working through the Ombudsman to invite the City into mediation on our current GRAMA request.  Fortunately, we finally met with the city under her capable mediation last night.

Since last month’s Records Committee Meeting I’ve spent much time thinking about our plight in Cedar Hills surrounding six major resignations including the City Recorder, and the Mayor who plead guilty and went to prison (on non-city issues), as it relates to the Attorney General Office’ 7-year recommendation.  These key points jumped out from the AG Office’s proposal:

“We recommend that the retention period for the proposed “Administrative Correspondence” be enlarged from three years to seven years.  The reason for this is legal need – to make sure that documents necessary to protect Utah’s interests in future lawsuits are not destroyed prematurely, and to provide greater protection to the state from liability based upon the doctrine of spoliation. …”

The AG Office’s proposal sounds like a plea for help for them to be able to perform their duty to protect the good people of this State, from those who are not.  You are in a position to help them with their responsibility to protect us.

Last month I wrote public comment recommending that preserving the email public record permanently would help serve the purpose of encouraging officials away from the temptations so prevalent to those entrusted with public taxpayer treasure.  Those comments were highlighted in better detail on your Records Keepers blog which you might consider reading.   [ http://recordskeepers.wordpress.com ]

Simply stated, in light of yearly technology jumps that continue to bring down the size and cost, I do not believe that in this modern day, there is any need to destroy the records, and that at some point the Committee will look back and wonder why we ever destroyed records. May I humbly predict that in the near future this Committee will revisit this issue to discuss jumping from the likely-to-be-adopted new AG office seven-year proposal, and see the wisdom of, and vote for, permanent retention.

In the meanwhile, after much thought and consideration I, as a former elected City Councilman of Cedar Hills interested in protecting my fellow taxpayers in Cedar Hills and the State and government officials from themselves, must lend my wholehearted support to the Attorney General Office’s 7-year recommendation and invite you to vote in favor of that recommendation.

Thank You,

Ken Cromar — Researcher
Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government
Former CH Councilman -1994 to 2000
Later that same morning the Committee voted unanimously 7 to 0 in favor of the seven years email retention schedule for municipalities like Cedar Hills.  We are gratified.

Memorial Day Thanks!

Written By: admin - May• 26•14

Photo by Todd Heisler – Rocky Mountain News

On this Memorial Day, to those who sacrificed all, so that we might enjoy Freedom — your friends at Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government say Thank You!  May God bless you and your families! Please enjoy this song dedicated to those whose ultimate gift we can never repay called, “Love is Stronger”.



“Why Freedom of Information?”

Written By: admin - Apr• 02•14

PowerPoint presentation by Joel Campbell

  • Freedom of Information Committee

  • Society of Professional Journalists

  • Associate Professor – BYU Dept. of Communications


What do you know about Utah GRAMA open records law & the national Freedom of Information Act  (F.O.I.A.)?

BYU Prof. Campbell wrote a column for the Salt Lake Tribune regarding Cedar Hills Citizen’s for Responsible Government’s 2012 GRAMA request for emails called, “Cedar Hills case shows scars of fight for open government”.   See complete article via… http://www.cedarhillscitizens.org/sl-tribune-daily-herald-come-to-our-defense/

Why the need for “open records”?  Joel Campbell shared a PowerPoint presentation he prepared for his Journalism class answering some of those questions of how and why Freedom of Information law has been created.   Download the PowerPoint presentation here and click “Read Only”…     Joel Campbell BYU Prof – utfoiupdate.1

An example of the content includes quotes & quiz questions like this:

“When information which properly belongs to the public is systematically withheld by those in power, the people soon become ignorant of their own affairs, distrustful of those who manage them, and — eventually — incapable of determining their own destinies.”                          Quote is by   Lincoln? / Clinton? / Nixon? / Kennedy?

Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right and a desire to know.     –     John Adams

Let the people know the facts, and the country will be safe.     –    Abraham Lincoln

We must never forget that the free flow of information is essential to a democratic society.     –    Bill Clinton


What are the General Goals of having Open Records?

  • Increase transparency and openness
  • Increase accountability and decrease corruption
  • Improve the quality of government decision-making
  • Improve public understanding of decision-making
  • Increase public participation
  • Increase public trust
  • Increase security


Right to know

  • Proactive

The positive obligation of public bodies to provide, to publish and to disseminate information about their main activities, budgets and policies so that the public can know what they are doing, can participate in public matters and can control how public authorities are behaving.

NOTE:  See the complete PowerPoint above.


CHCRG believes…

that some critically important information has been intentionally withheld by the City, from its citizens, buried within multiple, confusing sources.  The proof?  Despite numerous requests over the past two years, the Mayor & Council refuse to publish a report to “shareholder” citizens (their bosses) of a simple table showing the year-by-year golf course losses and taxpayer subsidies.  Why?  It appears they are afraid that if you knew of the $550,000+ per year with 20 more years of the same “investment” likely until golf bond is paid off – you’ll stop trusting them.

Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government seeks only to promote “open, honest, and transparent” city management in Cedar Hills – and has and continues to seek the public record via occasional GRAMA requests, so that important public information can be posted at www.CedarHillsCitizens.org at for FREE, in your behalf and in the public interest.

Those who would like a FREE copy of the PDF of the 6000 pages of the 2012 email records may send an email with that request to info@CedarHillsCitizens.org .

When the 2014 GRAMA request is finally fulfilled by the City, those too will be made available for FREE for the asking as a public service to serve the public interest!

Mayor Gary Gygi still claims “nothing of any significance was discovered in the 2012 email records”. The facts do not support him.  So much was discovered in the 2012 records, including the most significant fact that the Mayor, Council and City Officials had done a significant portion of city business on personal accounts without providing all copies back to the City Recorder as required by law – until our GRAMA request and then ORDERED by the Utah State Records Committee.  The city admitted that some of those records on personal accounts were allowed to be destroyed.

Why was the 20-year veteran City Recorder Kim Holindrake forced out at the time of CHCRG’s 2012 GRAMA requested of Mayor & Council member email records?  Some believe that the Mayor and Council decided to find her “insubordinate” and force her resignation in order to silence her, because she insisted on obeying her oath to uphold the law rather than do what some officials were asking her to do.  She should be touted as a hero of honesty.  See her press release article at…  http://www.cedarhillscitizens.org/daily-herald-ch-mayor-should-resign/

What is the City trying to hide from you and Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government in our 2014 GRAMA request for their email records?  We would like to find out.


CONTACT THE CITY COUNCIL: Ask the Mayor and Council to come clean.   Ask them to provide the email records to for FREE in the public interest.   Ask them to publish the year-by-year Golf Financial Facts.  Encourage them to please choose to be completely “open, honest and transparent” with CH residents at all times.



The “Investigation” did not happen

Written By: admin - Mar• 18•14

Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government’s (CHCRG) legal analyst Jerry Dearinger respectfully corrects the record, as requested by city officials:


On December 26, 2013, a meeting was held regarding Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government’s (CHCRG) October 9, 2013 GRAMA Request for email/text records.   Mayor Gary Gygi, Councilmember Jenney Rees, City Manager David Bunker, City Attorney Eric Johnson and CHCRG members Jerry Dearinger & Ken Cromar attended.

During the meeting the city attorney felt it necessary to discuss an issue from 2012 regarding the County Attorney’ “investigation” of then Mayor Eric Richardson and City Manager Konrad Hildebradt.  The city attorney believed CHCRG had been mistaken in our understanding that County Attorney Jeffrey Buhman had not investigated charged filed in District Court, as Ordered by Judge Taylor.  The city attorney believes, and has advised the Council that Mr. Buhman had indeed  “investigated”, and demanded our reply and correction.

Our position is that County Attorney Jeffrey Buhman did not, would not, and has never claimed to have “investigated” the charges, as Ordered by Judge Taylor, even when offered the opportunity by the Judge to do so in a court brief August of 2012.

Jerry Dearinger’s response to City’s claim of “Investigation” corrects the record, published now for CH residents, after the State Records Appeal for Hearing filing proved necessary, — as follows:


From: Jerry Dearinger <jwdearinger@gmail.com>

Subject: Re: Response to Eric Johnson email regarding County Attorney “investigation”

Date: January 21, 2014 12:52:50 AM MST

To: Gary Gygi <ggygi@cedarhills.org>

Cc: David Bunker <dbunker@cedarhills.org>, jrees@cedarhills.org, taugustus@cedarhills.org, dzappala@cedarhills.org, rcrawley@cedarhills.org, mgeddes@cedarhills.org, Ken Cromar <kencromar@bluemoonprod.com>, Ken Severn <ksevksev@gmail.com>, Paul Sorensen <paulsorensen7@gmail.com>


“Mayor Gygi,

“May I begin by adding my thanks to you and the other representatives of the City for taking the time to meet with Ken Cromar and me on December 26th.  While it is clear to me that we see a number of things differently, depending on our particular perspective and experiences, hopefully we have opened a dialogue that will eventually result in substantially narrowing our differences and help each of us to begin to see from the other side.

… “In response to an April 26, 2012 emailed letter from Sorensen-Severn presenting additional information or evidence, Mr. Buhman sent the following email to them on or about May 3, 2012:

  • “Our investigators have the information you emailed to our office.  They will review the information as they are able and will make a recommendation to me about whether to conduct an investigation.  I anticipate that will take a few weeks.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact our Bureau of Investigations (emphasis added).”

“I believe the foregoing statement further supports my (and I believe Ken’s) position that Mr. Buhman’s office did not conduct “an investigation,” as was contemplated by Mr. Buhman under Judge Taylor’s January 2012 Order.  Mr. Buhman did not further communicate with any of us, but other personnel in his office verbally communicated that no investigation had been undertaken.

“In the end, the status of Mr. Richardson’s and Mr. Hildebrandt’s activities with respect to their offices of trust within the City of Cedar Hills remains unresolved.  We do not know whether the accusations made were “baseless,” as claimed by you in a September 20, 2012 press release, or whether they were valid claims of impropriety, as apparently suspected by Mr. Sorensen and Mr. Severn, as well as others of us.  No investigation into the veracity of their claims was ever made.  The statement of the County Attorney that he did not believe the “six areas” identified, if true, violated what he believed were “criminal statutes” does not address the question as to whether they were true or not, or whether they violated Utah Code Section 10-3-826.  We may never know, as we certainly did not have the time or money to pursue much more expensive avenues to find out, and both men are now gone from Cedar Hills government.

“I hope this particular discussion is at an end. I also hope that each of us learns something from the history of this matter, so that some of the pitfalls and ruts in that road can be avoided, and that we can develop sufficient amicable communication and openness that will help to avoid such distrust and adversity as we have seen in the past.  Things have much improved and hopefully they will continue to do so.  I believe all government, good or bad, requires close attention by the citizenry and needs to be challenged from time to time; but hopefully it can be with greater trust and respect from all sides.

“Unless you have some good reason to respond to this, it will be unnecessary to do so.”  …


“Jerry Dearinger

Member of Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government”

For complete letter please see PDF…   Jerry Dearinger’s response to City’s claim of _Investigation_



In conclusion, CHCRG has been asked to correct the record.  We believe we have.

While it is true, as the city reports, that Judge Taylor concluded he had no authority to enforce his ORDER to the County Attorney to investigate, CHCRG did not, nor does not now believe that this in any way vindicated or proved innocence of former Mayor Eric Richardson & City Manager Konrad Hildebrandt.

We also believe it a significant and unfortunate fact that the City hired attorney Peter Stirba to represent them at the same time Stirba also provided legal services for the County Attorney’s office.  To us this appeared an unethical conflict of interest, requested by city officials, which did not protect, and indeed harmed the interest of Cedar Hills’ residents.

Mr. Stirba’s analysis was apparently accepted by the County Attorney, though according to him and his office admitted on a few occasions, in writing, that they had not “investigated”.

CHCRG has gotten accustomed to having our efforts and motives mischaracterized by the City to CH residents in its publications, website and on the City Councilman Zappala moderated www.AboutCedarHills.org Forum.

Nevertheless, now that we have done as the city requested in correcting the record, and we hope the City will do the same. CHCRG respectfully invites the City to consider correcting the erroneous conclusions for CH residents, as documented in the final paragraph published on the city website September 20, 2012 under the title, “Investigation”, which reads:

  • “As the Utah County Attorney did properly investigate the allegations made by Mr. Severn and Mr. Sorensen, the Court denied the request of the accusers to issue a writ or order to review the investigation as the Utah Constitution prohibits any attempt by the courts to assume management of an investigation.  “We are pleased with the decision made by the Court,” stated Mayor Gary Gygi. “It is baffling as to why Mr. Sorensen and Mr. Severn continue to pursue these baseless allegations as Mr. Hildebrandt and Mr. Richardson resigned their positions earlier this year and no longer serve the City in any capacity. City staff and officials are looking to the future and it is our hope that these residents will do the same.” http://www.cedarhills.org/node/1685 (emphasis added)

“Open, honest and transparent” government is our shared goal.  We hope that we can continue keep the doors of respectful dialogue open between city officials and members of Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government.   Thank you!




The following are support documents which demonstrate County Attorney Jeffrey Buhman did not claim, at least in writing, to have ever “investigated”, provided for your consideration:


July 30, 2012


Honorable James R. Taylor

Fourth District Court Judge

125 North 100 West

Provo, UT 84601


Subject:       The Court ORDER of January 27, 2012, unfulfilled by Utah

County Attorney Jeff Buhman.  Case Number: 120400093

Dear Judge Taylor,

On January 23, 2012, we, Paul Sorensen and Ken Severn, filed six misdemeanor accusations against Cedar Hills Mayor Eric Richardson and City Manager Konrad Hildebrandt, under Utah Code 77-6-4. …

For complete letter please see PDF…   Judge Taylor ORDER unfulfilled by County Attorney.PRS – Case #120400093-1



County Attorney Office response to our request for copy of their brief to the Court, as invited by Judge Taylor…


From: “Jeff Robinson” <JEFFR@utahcounty.gov>

Subject: Re: District Court request for Briefs – Cedar Hills investigation

Date: August 30, 2012 8:32:54 AM MDT

To: “Paul Sorensen”


Hi Paul

There has been no action taken.  So I don’t have anything for you to pick up.  Sorry.


Jeff Robinson

Bureau Chief

Bureau Of Investigations

Utah County Attorney Office

100 East Center Street, Ste 3300

Provo, UT  84606

Ph: 801-851-8026

Fax: 801-851-8070

>>> On 8/29/2012 at 2:26 PM, in message Paul Sorensen wrote:

Hi Jeff, 

Just thought that I would see if your office has put together a Brief to Judge Taylor regarding my questioning the implementation of his order to investigate Cedar Hills officials?  If so, would like to pick up a copy.

Thanks in advance,

Paul Sorensen



Our response to Judge Taylor’s invitation to provide legal brief…

August 31, 2012


Honorable James R. Taylor

Fourth District Court Judge

125 North 100 West

Provo, UT 84601



Subject:       Invitation to provide legal brief regarding the Court ORDER of

January 27, 2012, unfulfilled by Utah County Attorney Jeff

Buhman.  Case Number: 120400093

Dear Judge Taylor,

As citizens of Cedar Hills who filed accusations with the honorable Court on January 23, 2012, regarding reported abuses by two local government officials, we gratefully accept the Court’s invitation to provide a legal brief expressing our view of the intended scope of U.C.A. 77-6-1, et. Seq., particularly the phrase “shall investigate and may prosecute” found in subsection (2)(a), [of 77-6-4], and the authority of this Court to direct or mandate an investigation by a separate branch of the government.”

  1. “…The county attorney …shall investigate and may prosecute the accusation.” …


For complete letter see PDF…   Judge Taylor – our reply to Judge’s request for Brief#120400093-1



Records Committee grants CHCRG a Hearing

Written By: admin - Mar• 13•14

Susan Mumford, the Executive Secretary for the State Records Committee, wrote to Jerry Dearinger (Legal Analyst) and Ken Cromar (Researcher) for Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government (CHCRG) to inform that a Hearing has been granted for April 10, 2014.  (see PDF of letter below)

The Hearing would address our concerns regarding the City’s DENIAL of our revised GRAMA Request as submitted December 9, 2013, and APPEALS for email / text records.

CHCRG has attempted three times to invite City officials to meet with the State Records Ombudsman in mediation in order to avoid the need to request a Hearing before the Records Committee.  The City insisted that they would not meet or answer our questions through the Ombudsman until we filed an Appeal.  Despite filing the Appeal, the Mayor then prepared a list of preconditions before he would allow city officials to meet with us.

We have provided a written response, and trust that the Mayor & Council will see the value of meeting in mediation with the Ombudsman, and find a mutually beneficial resolution.

If so, we can cancel the Hearing. If not, then the Mayor and Council may again choose to again spend thousands of dollars in legal fees in order to collect the $900 they currently demand.  (During the 2012 Hearing before the Records Committee resulted in the City being ORDERED to collect and provide email records from city and personal account, and provide them to CHCRG, during which city officials reportedly chose to spend over $30,000 in order to collect $766.)

We believe negotiations with the Ombudsman will better serve the interest of Cedar Hills taxpayers and the release of public records to CHCRG, so we can then in turn share them on this website, — in the public interest.


To read the full letter from the Records Committee see… Records Committee Grants CHCRG Hearing 7Mar2014