He's so rich he buys silence with $150,000 checks. So who is this state representative, Republican Majority Leader Kevin Garn, the guy who resigned today after admitting he hot-tubbed naked with a 15-year-old girl and got a
round of applause standing ovation for it? Let's ask the venerable Bryon Saxton, one of the greatest reporters in Utah, serving the Top of Utah with his astonishingly comprehensive beat reporting of Layton City for the Standard-Examiner .
In July 2009, Saxton wrote, "The project, known as Home2 Suites by Hilton [Hotels], is being developed by a business partnership that includes as a principle Layton businessman Kevin Garn, a state lawmaker. Construction on the 108-room project is set to begin in February and take about a year to complete. The project will be built on two-acres of ground at about 800 West Heritage Park Blvd., across the street from the Hilton Garden Inn, in which Garn also has an ownership stake."
So he owns the Hilton in Layton. Tell us more, Bryon.
In August 2007, "One of the few times [Layton] city has put incentive dollars on the table was when it gave local businessman Kevin Garn, now a state lawmaker, $1.1 million in incentives to adjoin the Hilton Garden Inn with the Davis Conference Center."
So Layton City doesn't hand out free money to business people too often, but it did to Garn. Free money. Inneresting. Keep going, Bryon.
From just January 2010, "The agreement between [Layton] city and Fort Lane Village LLC has been signed by the development team led by Layton businessman Kevin Garn..."
WTF is Fort Lane Village, Bryon?
"Water features, public plazas, pedestrian connections and an amusement park ride are part of a long list of wants Layton leaders will be taking to the table in drafting a development agreement with the Fort Lane Village landowners group," Saxton reported in August 2008. "The city council and staff in a work meeting shared what amenities they want for the 26-acre redevelopment retail project at the corner of Fort Lane and Gentile Street."
Wow. 28 acres of retail sounds really big. Fountains in Layton? So Fancy! Garn sounds like kind of a big deal.
"...[D]evelopers [Garn and others] said a tentative agreement has been reached with WinCo Foods, a warehouse-style grocery chain [to make way for Fort Lane Village]. But completion of the south Layton interchange on I-15 is one of the preconditions for WinCo moving forward with a development application."
South Layton Interchange? Is that the one that's displacing nostalic and popular Doug and Emmy's restaurant? Not just Doug and Emmy's, Bryon tells us on March 6, 2010, but also "Sill's Cafe, Doug and Emmy's, Allco Discount Auto Parts and North Davis Gymnastics."
So all those businesses had to move or shut down because Garn wouldn't build his Fort Lane Village development without the South Layton Interchange? Layton City benefits if the the Utah Department of Transportation agrees to build (pay for) a new freeway off-ramp and Garn is pushing all of that change on the city and state level as a private developer (and state law maker)? Wow. He $ounds powerful. Is he really powerful, Bryon?
"Making sure he is well represented, businessman Kevin Garn has retained high-profile real estate attorney Mike Ostermiller to guard his interest in the proposed Fort Lane Village project," Bryon reported in July 2008.
So if Ostermiller is his business body guard, is Ostermiller tough, Bryon?
"Ostermiller, who doubles as the chief executive officer for the Weber/North Davis Association of Realtors, will represent Garn, along with a handful of other landowners who have an interest in the 26-acre development at Fort Lane and Gentile Street."
Wow. That sounds like a well-connected lawyer. Garn does sound like kind of a big deal. Has he always been so powerful?
"Garn was an unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Congress in 2002. He was defeated in the June GOP primary, and the seat was filled by Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah."
Oh, OK. Well: win some you lose some. Thanks, Bryon.