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As SLOC Turns

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Days of Our Lives, All My Children, General Hospital, Salt Lake Olympic Scandal. As the soaps reel out, the players become more desperate and ornery. The stakes are ratcheted up and pretty soon all kinds of crazy stuff is happening.

Move over TV screenwriters, the architects of the Salt Lake Olympic Scandal and the subsequent attempt by some power brokers to cover their behinds is worthy of the Emmy for Best Plot Twists by Unethical Cowards and their Attorneys.

Somewhere along this long, strange trip the storyline turned into a bummer acid trip. But as originally drafted, the script went like this: Provide the SLOC Ethics Panel with only the information that would implicate Salt Lake City bid officers Tom Welch and Dave Johnson. Hang them out to dry, but not far enough so that they actually get indicted at the hands of the U.S. Department of Justice. Bitch and moan about the investigation dragging on. Bring political pressure to get the feds to back off. Scandal goes away and everybody lives happily ever after.

Oops. Chalk up another mind-numbing faux pas for the SLOC brain trust and its attorneys. They hung out Welch and Johnson all right. But they made two small miscalculations—that Welch and Johnson would not be indicted, and that if they were, they would plead guilty to felonies and take the rap for Utah’s entire Olympic wine-and-cheese clique.

With the specter of a federal trial now looming, Gov. Mike Leavitt, former Mayor Deedee Corradini, former SLOC Chairman Frank Joklik, business leaders Spencer Eccles and Verl Topham, as well as SLOC attorneys Jim Jardine and Kelly Flynt and an entire cast of who’s who on the Olympic stage will be called to the witness stand to be grilled by two of the nation’s top defense lawyers. If Welch and Johnson can be charged with felonies, then what about the rest?

It will be a show bigger than any Ringling Bros. ever dreamed of. Journalists from across the country will be salivating like Pavlovian dogs at every cross-examination. Certain witnesses may see their lives flash before their eyes.

Or else, the show will be called off. Right now, SLOC Guru in Chief Mitt Romney is huddling with high-priced outside attorneys in an attempt to hold back the legal funding provided by SLOC for Welch and Johnson. Without the dough, the pair may be unable to keep up the expensive legal battle that would be fought out for the next 12 months.

Can Mitt head them off at the pass, or is Salt Lake City’s Olympic Scandal just warming up? Stayed tuned As SLOC Turns.

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