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The J Spot

Let's Make a Diehl

by John Saltas
- Posted // 2011-09-21 - On Tuesday, The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News both reported that land developer Terry Diehl made “millions but less than 24 million” on land he was trying to develop near a UTA TRAX stop in Draper.

Diehl is a former UTA board member. Sound a little cozy? And those dollar amounts are more than fuzzy, but either end of them probably isn’t enough to rile the Legislature, local governments or the UTA into doing something that might actually benefit a taxpayer.

This summer, Utah’s governor and other pious members of the Utah Legislature peed all over themselves when a liquor audit revealed that around $100,000 was missing from state coffers. The Utah liquor industry pumps hundreds of millions into Utah’s economy and tens of millions into the Utah state budget. Meanwhile, the UTA is not self-sustaining. The UTA is in cahoots with millions in dubiously spent taxpayer money provided to a board member.

Why no hue and cry from those very elected officials? Besides their obvious morality play on everything regarding liquor (which is equally a ploy to keep our dumb minds off the really big issues), it does seem odd that those hypocritical caretakers would spend public funds so, so … so much like an Obama Democrat would.

Well, maybe Mr. Diehl has left a clue. It’s common knowledge that he and Salt Lake County Councilman Randy Horiuchi (pictured) are buddies. So much so that it’s fair to wonder if Horiuchi actually lives, as some say, in Diehl’s pocket—a living arrangement of which Diehl is said to be proud and boastful. Diehl has benefited similarly from county variances (while many citizens oppose, and other Salt Lake Council members vote against, Diehl's ideas, Horiuchi is definitely the tip of the spear in moving them forward to approval) that allow him property opportunities that no one else has been authorized to do—like his controversial Tavaci project in the foothills above Cottonwood Heights. Why so close to a national forest? Why in the close foothills? Is it a hotel or resort? A housing project?

Don’t be surprised if you wake up one day and the county offices on 2100 South State are razed (sold for a dollar) to make way for a new complex: The Horiuchi High-rise Hotel and Keno Parlor.

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Posted // September 21,2011 at 11:29 You know, years ago in another life, I would see these guys partying all over town. There would be Diehl and the guy who inherited his family's steel plant here in town and lost it in Vegas, one or two owner's from the Death Star, er, I mean, La Quaille, John Price, Horiuchi and a band of hangers-on.
That Diehl survived the limo-powder partying days and is still trying to "develop" his fortune speaks volumes about the true nature of greed, American-style. And he needs enablers, like Draper's Rep. Greg Hughes, a transplant from Michigan who has had his hands slapped for unethical practices "unbecoming" a representative, if you can fully comprehend what that means in Utah.
CW ought to drill down on this pinata, for it will spring forth so much confetti and sparkles and candy!