Two women who have been long-time critics of the Utah Anti-Discrimination Division and its procedures are leading the opposition to State Industrial Commissioner Tom Carlson's reappointment.
Julie C. Davies, Hurricane, a former Salt Lake resident, and Robyn Kaelin are trying to interest a variety of groups into opposing Carlson's reappointment by Gov. Mike Leavitt. Carlson's term expired March 1, but he continued to serve and a few days ago was notified of the reappointment.The reappointment must be confirmed by the Utah Senate, and that could come on April 19, when the Legislature holds a special session.
During a recent meeting of the Utah Anti-Discrimination Division Advisory Committee, Davies circulated a letter written to chairman Walker Kennedy III that asks the committee to oppose Carlson's reappointment. She claims Carlson mismanaged the division when it was under his supervision.
Carlson said the statements made by Davies are "incorrect in total."
In her letter, Davies said when she heard Carlson was going to be reappointed, she thought it was an April fool's joke because of the controversy surrounding the division and the commission and because Carlson had the division as part of his portfolio "during one of its bleakest periods."
Davies said since she filed her anti-discrimination complaint in 1985, she has had extensive dealings with Carlson and says her files are full of evidence that Carlson shouldn't be reappointed. She said Carlson has either opposed or supported legislation that damages the anti-discrimination process.
"I must say that I resent having to spend more of my time, money and emotion to fight just to get the commissioners (who are being paid by my tax dollars and who have, through their mismanagement of the UADD, harmed my family and me) to simply do their jobs," Davies said.
Davies said her complaint centered on her supervisor's comments about women, on her being pregnant and asking her to abort the fetus. Davies received a "cause finding," but eventually had to file a federal lawsuit because state officials refused to prosecute the "cause finding" against the company.
She eventually had her expenses paid, although she spent some of her own money, but she didn't receive any back pay. Since then, she has been an outspoken critic of the system and is pushing for the state to prosecute the cause findings, regardless of whether they favor or oppose business.
Carlson, who retired from Kennecott Utah Copper Jan. 1, 1986, as the director of mining operations, was appointed to the commission in May 1988 to fill an unexpired term. He was reappointed in March 1989 for a six-year term and from 1990 to 1991 had the division as part of his portfolio.
Kaelin said Leavitt and Lt. Gov. Olene Walker promised they would not appoint someone who is pro-business when Commissioner Colleen Colton was appointed. Kaelin said Colton, Carlson and Commission Chairman Stephen M. Hadley are all pro-business.