By Wayne Wickizer, USN Columnist., From his blog January 3, 2024

Utah’s Quasi Government Entities
Grifters’ Delight … Taxpayers’ Despair

The Wasatch Front Regional Council and its little cousin the CWC are quasi governmental entities and two typical Utah scams gutting the body politic and grifting the various Treasuries of local municipalities, the State of Utah, and the United States of America.

In-as-much-as Utah is the 2nd most corrupt State in the Nation, that fact alone raises red flags over the WFRC and the CWC’s contrived, lackluster, longevity.

These two, most egregious, do little, Grifts among the history of a host of other grifting predecessors are sucking up hard earned livings from friends and families across the nation and not just from The Wasatch Front.

It remains that we have bloated repositories crammed with terabytes full of plans.  Yet after years and years with no tunnels, no gondolas, no wider roads, no rapid transit or rail lines, no other forms of canyon transportation to interrupt this perpetual planning loop, we have no relief from congestion.   In a week or so, the report following this one will expose Utah’s Goodfellas and their plans for the Grandfather of all Grifts. As soon as we do so, we can Count on Utah’s Goodfellas to scramble for control over those plans and projects and activate their “sub rosa” insiders, nominees, and cutouts! Lil’ Coxy, Utah’s RINO, Woke Governor, will not want the plan we unfold to be exposed prematurely.

For today’s report, we don’t have readily available all the many years prior spent planning and playing with the taxpayers’ dollars.  Planning for what?  Well … planning for Canyons’ transportation needs seems to have been the perpetual “sticking point.”  All these years and all these dollars in the toilet.

WFRC 2022 & 22023 spent ~$17,000,000.00
WFRC 2024 budgeted so far ~$18,000,000.00
CWC 2022-2023 spent ~$958,204.00
CWC 2023-2024 budgeted so far ~$869,850.00

For the WFRC, look at the details and the line items in the PDF report that follows.  For one example, it line items like the following that set the Ole’ Buzzard’s hair on fire.  “$59,292 – Planning studies undesignated.”  How many party perks and travel junkets are in the “undesignated“?  Back in the Ole’ Buzzard’s day, the “Undesignated” would be sufficient cause to go to work and investigate.  We would also be examining the ~$400,000.00 rent that the WFRC is paying for renting their spot in the Cicero building each year.



The “Planning Process” is inherently
a rip off … a grift!

A discussion worth contemplating about project planning is as follows:

“Corruption in municipal project planning is a serious issue that affects the quality, cost, and sustainability of urban development.  Some of the common forms of corruption in this area are:

Bribery and kickbacks: Developers or contractors may offer money or other benefits to municipal officials or employees in exchange for favorable decisions, such as granting planning permission, approving designs, awarding contracts, or overlooking violations.
Collusion and bid rigging: Developers or contractors may collude with each other or with municipal officials or employees to manipulate the bidding process, such as by inflating prices, restricting competition, or splitting contracts.
Embezzlement and fraud: Municipal officials or employees may misuse or divert public funds allocated for planning or construction projects, such as by falsifying invoices, overbilling, or creating ghost projects.
Conflict of interest and lobbying: Municipal officials or employees may have personal or professional ties with developers or contractors that influence their decisions, such as by owning shares, receiving gifts or hospitality, or working as consultants.  They may also use their position to lobby for or against certain projects or policies that affect their interests.
Lack of transparency and accountability: Municipal planning systems may lack adequate mechanisms to ensure transparency and accountability in decision-making, such as by not disclosing information, not consulting stakeholders, not enforcing rules and regulations, or not investigating and sanctioning misconduct.
These forms of corruption can have negative impacts on the public interest, such as by reducing the availability and affordability of housing, compromising the safety and quality of infrastructure, increasing the environmental and social costs of urbanization, and eroding the trust and confidence in public institutions.”

The above is absolutely nothing new for Utah.
Years ago we published a report about quasi government entities like the WFRC and the CWC.   For emphasis, we add portions of that report here.

Utah Quasi Government Entities Fraud (Upots) Interlocal agencies, independent entities, special service districts, Associations of Governments (AOG), and conservancy districts — each of these is a type of government-sponsored or -created organization given control of some aspect of administration, localized policy making, or government service.  In short, they have control over a portion of your tax dollars and/or your life.  Who are these mysterious organizations that, up until recently, have hidden their operations in the shadows? To be clear, they hold some public meetings, report to the Utah Legislature periodically, and probably even have up-to-date websites.  However, they probably would rather you not know about the size of their budgets, nor their too frequent misappropriation of funds.

The average Utahn might recognize these government organizations from the media attention they have received over the past few years.  By MICHAEL MELENDEZ 30TH MAY ’17 Libertas Institute 

  1. Utah’s USTAR Audit: $334 million USTAR effort inflated jobs, revenue High-tech initiative • Report says the project over-reported jobs it created and revenues it brought in.  By Lindsay Whitehurst, Salt Lake Tribune, October 16, 2013.
  2. Utah’s Utah DairyAuditor chides Utah Dairy Commission over misused credit cards, accountability CEO questions authority to probe, claims report has ‘multitudinous’ errors Auditors found the commission had 122 credit card charges totaling $9,213 for which there were either no original receipts or no itemized receipts. There were 25 charges at restaurants, including five at Starbucks that appeared to be personal, totaling $2,500 without documentation for the purpose of the meal or who attended.  Other expenses include airline upgrades, cash advances, a Utah State University annual AG Day barbecue and football, and $180 manicure for Harrison.  By Dennis Romboy @dennisromboy Published: September 14, 2016.
  3. Utah’s UTAUTA doubled execs’ bonuses last year while seeking tax hike Controversy • Incentive pay bumped as agency sought tax hike to restore bus service. The agency spent $1.74 million on such bonuses last year, twice the $870,368 doled out in 2012, according to UTA salary data analyzed by The Salt Lake Tribune.  By Lee Davidson, Salt Lake Tribune, April 14, 2014.
  4. Utah’s DABC  = Audit of Utah’s liquor control authority finds millions in accounting errors POSTED 9:28 AM, MAY 30, 2017, BY BEN WINSLOW, UPDATED AT 05:47 PM, MAY 30, 2017 The report from Utah State Auditor John Dougall, obtained by FOX 13 ahead of the DABC commission’s monthly meeting, said from July to December 2016, the DABC did not record $216 million in revenue or $118 million in goods sold into the state’s ledger system, FINET.  It also found anywhere from $26 million to $308 million in discrepancies through the state liquor control authority’s various financial reporting systems for December 2016 and January of this year alone.  Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General Fraud Prevention “No audit since the 1980s & Illegal Activities” Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General 
  5. Utah’s GOED  = Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) Type: Branch of Governor’s Office Funding: Sales Taxes (General Fund) and Tax Credits Funds in question: Post-performance tax deals to board member businesses. In 2009, for example, they totalled over $2 million.  “GOED board endows one of its own, again Incentives » MediConnect accepts $1.8 million tax credit.”  By Lesley Mitchell, Salt Lake Tribune, December 11, 2009.
  6. Utah’s Medicaid  =Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General Fraud Prevention  Spring 2017 Conference.  Utah Medicaid Audit found complete lack of oversight and control with fraud, waste, and abuse likely.  Estimate: $20 million MORE could be recovered in Utah Medicaid with proper controls in place. 
  7. Utah’s LPP = Lake Powell Pipeline Conservancy District Funds; Washington County Water District Water Fees and Property Taxes; $1.3-2.8 billion over 50 years for Lake Powell Pipeline Who will pay for Powell pipeline? All of us, U. economists say Powell project • Analysis concludes that the consultant underestimated costs and didn’t consider interest on proposed bonds.  By Brian Maffly, Salt Lake Tribune, September 21, 2016.
  8. Utah’s UCA  = Utah 911 Utah Communication Authority (UCA) Type: Independent State Entity Funding: Local & State Taxes Over $1 million embezzled FOX 13 POSTED 4:01 PM, APRIL 8, 2016, BY LAUREN STEINBRECHER AND MARK GREEN, UPDATED AT 09:30 PM, APRIL 8, 2016
  9. Utah’s URS  = Utah Retirement System Insider Trading Asset Misclassifications Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General Fraud Prevention Spring Conference Report  Utah Retirement Systems Slide 25  “Found asset misclassifications and Chief Investment Officer (CIO) involved in an outside  consulting business. Outside activity vaguely disclosed, but nobody questioned it. Utah Retirement Systems Turns out, CIO’s partner was a URS Board Member, who happened to be an investment advisor for the LDS Church. Front-Running/Insider Trading was occurring.” Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General Spring 2017 Conference.
  10. Utah’s Utah Capital Investment (formerly Utah Fund of Funds) = Type: Public-Private Partnership Funding: Contingent Tax Credits Funds in question: Over $100 million invested every year with questionable returns Overstated the Returns on its Investments,Downplayed the Costs of Doing Business, Lacking in Transparency.  By Robert Gehrke, Salt Lake Tribune, August 27, 2014.