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A former employee of the Miller home law office says the December 2005 South Jordan police report of teens drinking at the Miller home occurred when a Miller teenager and friends got into booze that was left unguarded in the house.
In a sworn statement, the former Miller & Miller office employee, who didn’t want to be identified for fear of reprisals, said that fellow employees—worried about children in the home—developed a routine: At the start of each workday, they would move the liquor into part of the home sectioned off as an office, which was supposed to be locked at night.
Then the employees policed the home for firearms.
Several children of Miller & Miller employees attended day care at the home. The former office worker says employees began looking for and hiding guns after, she claims, a toddler was seen wandering through carrying a weapon. Weapons were routinely scattered throughout the house, alleges the former employee who was interviewed by the attorney general.
The state Department of Health sent investigators to monitor children going in and out of the Miller house, but never counted more than four. Utah does not regulate day care operations of four or fewer children.
But the former office employee says before the law office moved to Redwood Road, the home office day care had up to 10 children. Then, the Millers’ nanny was paid as an employee of the office and additionally worked as housekeeper, the employee said. A note to the Millers found by the private detective in the Millers’ trash shows a woman writing to “Lohra” that she can’t cook dinner because there is no food in the house.
The former office worker says that employees discussed with Lohra Miller the fact that the law firm was not licensed when it was located inside the Miller home in West Jordan. The employee said the business had not been licensed since 1999. Miller allegedly explained the business was exempt from licensing in West Jordan because it employed her relatives. But, while some relatives were usually on the payroll, most employees were not related, the former employee said.
The former Miller & Miller staffer says the firm employed up to 10 people, most part time and some of whom often worked from home. Still, the law office outgrew the West Jordan home, prompting a move. Lohra and Lorenzo moved to South Jordan in April 2004. The law firm followed in May after Lorenzo Miller remodeled the basement of the new house to include an office. Employees without children were instructed to park cars at the development’s clubhouse, while those with children parked in the driveway. The former employee said the office was not licensed during the 18 months it operated inside the Millers’ South Jordan home.
Neighbor Gary Zielinski recalls getting a tour of the home law office when he was building his own home in the neighborhood, before he fell out with the Millers. Construction workers complained to Zielinski they couldn’t get equipment in because of all the cars. “I asked Lorenzo what was going on. I said, ‘We have a running joke, either it’s a drug house or a convenience store.’ He said, ‘No, it’s our law office.’ I said, ‘You’re kidding me.’”
The law firm finally moved to legitimate office space, on Redwood Road in West Jordan, in November 2005, after a manager for the development showed up on the doorstep of the Miller home, the former office employee says. Still, a business license was not obtained, the former employee said.
Records kept by the Utah Bar Association, the state’s lawyers association, show that Miller & Miller listed its address in June 2003 as 2461 W. Jordan Meadows Lane, West Jordan, then the Millers’ home. Documents registered with the state show that Miller & Miller leased copy, fax and other office equipment using the same address.
In July 2004, Miller & Miller listed its address with the Utah Bar as 3016 W. Riviera Pass Circle, the home in South Jordan.
Neither West Jordan nor South Jordan has ever issued a business license to Miller & Miller, the PI’s investigation found. West Jordan issued a license for Lorenzo Miller’s office in 2007. Both cities require businesses to register and pay licensing fees. And both cities have special rules for when businesses can be operated from inside of a home.
In South Jordan, “home occupancy” businesses are only allowed if all employees inside are family members. To qualify, applicants must first give notice to all residents within 300 feet and get approval from city planners.
Miller & Miller has registered with the state Department of Commerce only twice. The first time was in 1999. It next registered—as Miller Law Office—in January 2007, the month Lohra Miller took office as district attorney and Lorenzo Miller took over the Redwood Road law practice by himself.
Get Your Party On
The home-based law office is gone. So are investigators. Miller, who said she was going to move last year, has taken her home off the market. That leaves the Zielinskis to deal with the noise next door.
When City Weekly dropped by the Miller neighborhood, on March 14, 2008, there were seven cars parked in the Millers’ driveway or along the side of the street near the house. At 12: 30 a.m., cars were still coming and going from the house. That night, Jen Zielinski said slamming car doors and voices woke her at 2 a.m. and again at 4 a.m. Each time, there were new cars on the cul-de-sac. She awoke a third time at 5:30 a.m. to find a truck parked in front of her driveway. She snapped a picture.
The weekend before—March 9, 2008—Zielinski’s videotape shows from seven to 10 cars parked around the cul-de-sac. At 12:30 a.m., Zielinski says she was awakened by a screaming fight. “There were a bunch of kids standing in our driveway, arguing, yelling. Over by our mailbox, there was a kid. He was yelling really loud. They wanted him to get in the car. He wouldn’t get in. Something like that.” At 2 a.m., she was awakened again by a truck with no muffler.
The private investigator found similar scenes when he staked out the Miller home. On Dec. 21, 2007, he videotaped cars arriving at the Miller home and staying until after 4 a.m. On Jan. 12, 2008, at 1 a.m., the investigator found five cars. At 2 a.m. the same night, the investigator videotaped the adult Millers leaving a private club.
“I don’t need the AG’s office to tell me there is nothing going on over there,” Zielinski says. “I know what I saw with my own two eyes.”
Maybe so. But Lohra Miller is the law in Salt Lake County.