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No state charges likely in S.L. Olympic scandal

SHARE No state charges likely in S.L. Olympic scandal

Utah Attorney General Jan Graham is expected to announce Monday whether she will end the state's investigation into the Olympic bribery scandal.

And with federal prosecutors alleging former Salt Lake bid leaders Tom Welch and Dave Johnson violated a state law against bribery, further criminal charges don't appear likely.

"It remains open while we complete our evaluation of the federal indictments," said Tracey Tabet, attorney general's office spokeswoman. "The decision (to close the case) has not yet been made."

But Graham's chief deputy Reed Richards, who oversees criminal prosecutions, told The Associated Press earlier this week that the federal indictment basically pre-empts the need for further investigation.

"The charges they filed are based on state criminal violations, so it doesn't make much sense for us to pursue it," he said.

The state's probe intended to uncover violations of state laws in the vote-buying allegations surrounding Salt Lake City's successful bid for the 2002 Winter Games. It had been on hold pending the outcome of the federal investigation.

Neither Richards nor Graham was available for comment Thursday.

Welch and Johnson are scheduled to be arraigned in U.S. District court Monday on charges stemming from about $1 million in cash, gifts and scholarships given to International Olympic Committee members. The 15-count indictment alleges conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and interstate travel in aid of racketeering.

Graham, while in private practice, was a member of the Salt Lake bid committee for a short time when the city went after the 1998 Games, eventually losing out to Nagano, Japan.

"The extent of her involvement was that she attended two meetings in the 1980s," Tabet said.


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