The Top Twenty-Two Tragic CH “Milestones” in 2012

Written By: admin - Jan• 01•13


On the front page of the January Newsletter the City highlighted a list of “Noteworthy Milestones from 2012”.

These “milestones” included an Easter egg hunt, the FIRST LEGO league, a fifth voting district, “Princess Day”, fireworks restriction due to dryness, and Santa’s Workshop, etc.

Yes, 2012 was filed with many “Noteworthy Milestones” but the most significant milestones were not included in the city’s Newsletter. This included numerous “resignations” under questionable circumstances with “severance” packages, and a Mayor charged by Federal authorities for bank fraud, his guilty plea and resignation so he could serve time in jail.

2012 was important because your friends and neighbor members of Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government dug deep into the public record to find out why our taxes are the highest in N. Utah County, while city officials continue to waste millions of our taxpayer dollars. Some 2012 “milestones” that did not make the city Newsletter’s list include:


1.)   CH Citizens group filed accusations in Fourth District Court against Mayor Eric Richardson & City Manger Konrad Hildebrandt, requesting an investigation.

January 23, 2012 – Paul Sorensen & Ken Severn, representing Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government (CHCRG), filed a list of high crimes and misdemeanor accusations and a supplementary list of other “possible infractions”, an investigation of which was required by law.


2.)   District Court Judge James Taylor ORDERED County Attorney to conduct an “investigation” of Mayor Eric Richardson & City Manger Konrad Hildebrandt.

February 7, 2012 – Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government (CHCRG) filing of accusations to be investigated included “misappropriation of funds, malfeasance, malconduct, withholding public information, misfeasance and oppression”. Mayor Eric Richardson & City Manger Konrad Hildebrandt claimed innocence.


3.)   Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman refuses to investigate.

February 14, 2012 – Buhman wrote to CHCRG that he doesn’t have authority, hasn’t and won’t investigate. He took this strange position despite Judge Taylor’s signed ORDER to investigate, and Utah Code 77-6-4, which states, “the court shall furnish a copy of the accusation to the county attorney … who shall investigate and may prosecute the accusation.”


4.)   Buffalo Chip for City conducting “Stake Conference”

February 25, 2012 – Daily Herald: “Buffalo Chip to Cedar Hills Mayor Eric Richardson and city manager Konrad Hildebrandt for conducting stake conference instead of a news conference following the announcement by Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman that he would not investigate complaints against the two. …The conference was so soaked with religious overtones and admonitions that it could backfire politically. They forgot to bless the food.”


5.)   City’s attorney caught in conflict of interest.

March 2012 – CHCRG made a GRAMA request of a Utah County Attorney internal letter which documented an undeclared conflict of interest by Peter Stirba of Stirba & Associates who simultaneously represented our Mayor & City Manger while working for Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman, being paid by both. This is unethical.


6.) Councilmen Gygi & Jackman propose tax increase.

March 14, 2012 – Then Councilman Gary Gygi & Scott Jackman requested a meeting of Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government members to seek support for their proposed $5 month tax increase! CHCRG did not support for their proposed tax increase, but instead offered ideas on how the city could cut costs and use of Harts gas station sales taxes to pay down the debt.


7.)   Citizens demand resignations.

April 24, 2012 – An Open Letter to City Council and Cedar Hills Community was read into the record at city council meeting with list of reasons why a “Respectful demand for the immediate resignation of the City Manager & Mayor of Cedar Hills” was being made. April 24 Open Letter to Cedar Hills demanding resignation of Mayor & City Manager.2a


8.)   Three top city officials “resign”.

May 1, 2012 – City Manager Konrad Hildebrandt, Building Inspector Brad Kearl, and 20+-year veteran City Recorder Kim Holindrake – but are rewarded with “severance” payment packages. The City Manager’s package may ultimately exceed $116,000. (Which in his case is 9-months worth of his generous $155K in pay and benefits.) Why was he rewarded for resigning when firing may have been in order?


9.)   City Recorder was “forced” out.

May 3, 2012, the Deseret News published that Mrs. Holindrake’s press release claiming she was “forced” out “for political reasons”.


10.)   Federal complaint filed against Mayor Richardson $2 million scheme.

May 3, 2012 – Whether by “coincidence” or karma, the very next day after Mayor Richardson orchestrated the three resignations, a Desnews article reports that he was “named in a federal complaint filed Wednesday that accuses him and a partner of soliciting more than $2 million in investments through an unregistered equity firm.”


11.)   Councilman Gygi defends Mayor Richardson.

The City released a press statement saying it will, “…Operate under the assumption that Mayor Richardson is innocent until proven guilty…”. In the KSL video clip below, Councilman Gary Gygi said, “My opinion of him is that [Mayor Richardson] has always been a good and honorable man, — extremely high integrity.” “You’ll understand if I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt until I understand what is going on.” See the KSL-5 video report at…


12.)   Daily Herald says: “CH MAYOR SHOULD RESIGN”

May 6, 2012 – Daily Herald wrote: “A person is innocent until proved guilty, but that doesn’t mean Mayor Eric Richardson of Cedar Hills should not resign immediately. His case is not one of innocence or guilt but of liability for civil damages arising from what federal authorities likened to a Ponzi scheme in futures trading that bilked investors of at least $1.3 million.”


13.)   Council considers a full Forensic audit of city finances.

May 16, 2012 – A statement issued by City Councilwoman Jenney Rees, on behalf of the City Council, stated that the timing of the resignations was coincidental and in no way related to the complaint filed against the mayor.


14.)   Councilman Gygi campaigns against a full Forensic audit of city finances.

May 7, 2012 – Despite recommendations by the city attorney for the Council to authorize a comprehensive forensic audit Councilman Gygi asks Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government to support his desire to persuade the Council the audit. The Councilman Gary Gygi approached CHCRG member & researcher Ken Cromar asking to support him in avoiding an unbiased, full “external forensic audit” of Mayor Eric Richardson and all City finances.  Support to avoid forensic audit was not given.   Councilman Gary Gygi emails solicit support against forensic audit.1


15.)   “Bufallo Chip to Mayor Richardson who “Won’t resign”.

May 19, 2012 – The Daily Herald Editorial board awarded the Buffalo Chip for “hunkering down and hiding out after being sued by the feds for his alleged participation in a Ponzi scheme. Richardson evidently wants to weather the storm. But it’s going to be a long storm, and the city won’t benefit from going through it with him. … Richardson should be big enough not to burden them with a circus.”


16.)   Mayor resigns as Federal Prosecutor charge Richardson for bank fraud.

June 28, 2012 – If found guilty could face 30 years and $1 million in restitution penalties. &


17.)   Councilman Gygi defends Richardson as “good and honorable man”.

The Daily Herald reported, “‘They should take him at his word,’ Gygi said. ‘I’m not going to read too much into it. I am saddened by it. It think he was a good mayor and a good and honorable man.’…” “


18.)   Utah State Records Committee ORDERS City to gather and provide missing email records.

June 15 – The City did not have email records (public records) as required by law, and were ORDERED to provide them to Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government. For DesNews article see … & Daily Herald article at …


19.)   Buffallo Chip to City officials for refusing to reimburse $766

September 22, 2012 – Daily Herald awards Buffalo Chip to Cedar Hills officials for “…Refusing to reimburse Ken Cromar [Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government] $766 of expenses he incurred as he dragged documents out of city government that had been illegally withheld. …Government entities should have to shoulder the costs that are unfairly and deliberately shifted to the shoulders of private citizens in an effort to keep damning data secret.”


20.)   Salt Lake Tribune & Daily Herald defend CHCRG!

September 30, 2012 – I SLTribune wrote: “…Ken Cromar represents Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government. Cromar could be straight out of central casting, as he has taken on the role of the crusading everyman. He and his group believe there is something rotten at City Hall. There’s good reason to suspect something’s fishy…”.

21.)   Cedar Hills Golf Finance Committee admits golf course not profitable.

Nov. 15, 2012 – The Committee discovered that the golf course costs residents $550,000+ average per year in taxpayer subsidies and has never made a profit. “CH admits golf course bleeds money – $4.3M since 2004.”


22.)   Buffalo Chip with Oak Leaf Cluster awarded to former Mayor Eric Richardson

Nov. 17, 2012 – DAILY HERALD:  The editorial board explained that, “…former Cedar Hills mayor Eric Richardson who was sentenced this week to 366 days in federal prison and ordered to pay $110,000 in restitution. …But, of course he was always honest during his time as a Cedar Hills official and never, never, never, ever attempted to mislead anybody about the financial disaster that is the municipal golf course.”


So, there is quite a contrast to the City’s published happy-face “Noteworthy Milestones” of Easter egg hunts and such, when compared to the actual noteworthy milestones that plagued Cedar Hills in 2012.

Is Cedar Hills government “open, honest and transparent” as they claim?  You decide. The evidence against that claim is mountainous!  Nevertheless, it appears to be much that may never be uncovered.

It is our hope that citizens will care enough about our community to share this information, and get involved by attending Council meetings, and promoting and voting for worthwhile, intelligent candidates at the next election who will serve the interests of the entire community.

To the 2013 rebirth of Cedar Hills!


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