Monday, September 28, 2009

DA may be disciplined for firing opponent

Posted By on September 28, 2009, 12:54 PM

Salt Lake County District Attorney Lohra Miller got overruled a second time for her firing of veteran prosecutor Kent Morgan, who was once her political opponent. She was forced to rehire him months ago, but now even his demotion has been declared retaliation.---

The Career Service Council is responsible for Morgan's reinstatement. They issued their opinion Friday.

Morgan, as City Weekly readers may remember, was fired in March 2008 for allegedly leaking confidential information to Steven Maese, the former owner of the The Doll House escort service. The Career Service Council criticized the evidence to support that claim when they demanded he be reinstated in April of this year. Morgan was rehired, but not to his former position as a top-gun prosecutor. He challenged that demotion soon after being rehired, resulting in Friday's decision of the Council.

Morgan sought the Republican nomination to be that party's candidate for DA in 2006, as did Miller. Miller defeated Morgan at the convention, and later won the general election, making her Morgan's boss. Miller's legal authority to raid the Doll House was to investigate whether the Doll House had a permit to operate in the county, a Class B misdemeanor. Miller was a contracted suburban prosecutor then, in charge of prosecuting only misdemeanor cases in Cottonwood Heights and three other suburbs. The pre-Miller DA's office filed felony exploititing prostitution charges against Maese. When she won the election in November 2006, the case was under her purview again.

Maese was eventually convicted and served 40 days of a 60-day sentence.

Miller faces reelection next year. Reports say she may be disciplined by the Council for her firing of Morgan.


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