Neither Wendover Mayor-elect Brenda Morgan nor City Councilman George Gieber violated the Utah election code in connection with that city's Nov. 2 election, City Attorney Mark F. Bell says.

Bell made that conclusion in a report addressed to Wendover Mayor Albert B. Smith and City Council members after Smith requested that the Utah attorney general's office investigate allegations that Morgan and Gieber acted improperly by spending time on election day near voting booths.In a Nov. 10 letter to Richard D. Wyss of the attorney general's office, Smith said that Morgan and Gieber "spent the better part of the day at our voting office where it was reported she (Morgan) worked to get herself voted to that office."

Morgan, a city councilwoman whose term expires Dec. 31, and Gieber, who is in the middle of a four-year term and who was not up for re-election, have indicated that they were not campaigning but conducting a straw poll of voters to determine if they were interested in Wendover being annexed to Nevada.

Morgan told the Deseret News last month that she made a mistake in being at the polling place but did nothing to influence voting. Gieber declined comment.

In his letter to Smith and City Council members, Bell said, "there is no basis for any finding that the conduct of either Ms. Morgan or Mr. Gieber violated the Utah election code."

Continuing, Bell said, "None of the witnesses I spoke with, including the mayor (Smith), could provide any information that would indicate that Ms. Morgan or Mr. Gieber were `campaigning' or `electioneering' at or within 150 feet of the polling location. Even if the allegations of `intimidation' could be taken as true, the mere presence of Ms. Morgan at the fire station (the polling place) is not a violation of any statute."

Bell said in his letter that he understands the Tooele County attorney's office, which investigated the allegations, also determined that no election laws had been broken.

Earlier, Wyss said he had told Bell that the situation was a "matter he (Bell) can handle" and that there was no need for the attorney general's office becoming involved.

Smith said Friday he has not received Bell's Dec. 14 letter. He said he doubts that the City Council, which is "backing" Morgan, will meet or take any action on the matter.

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"Why make (election) laws, if they are not going to be enforced?" Smith asked, criticizing Bell for "sticking up for his job." Smith suggested that Bell would not do anything that might jeopardize his future employment as the city's attorney under administration of the incoming mayor.

In a matter unrelated to the dispute among Smith, Morgan and Gieber, Bell told the officials that he became aware in the course of his investigation of "another irregularity pertaining to the write-in candidate (Kent Peterson, who was running for mayor) and ballots cast in his favor.

"Utah law requires that a write-in candidate file a declaration of candidacy not later than 5 p.m. on the Wednesday immediately preceding the November election. Apparently, the declaration of was never filed. There is no penalty for this provision, and the only remedy provided by the statute is that votes for a non-valid write-in candidate not be tallied or recorded."

Morgan received 72 votes in her bid for mayor, compared with 45 votes for Peterson, and Frank Devine, currently a council member, 34. Brad Merl and incumbent Jim Trammell were elected to the City Council with 117 votes and 83 votes, respectively.

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