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Santaquin won’t redo swearing-in ceremony

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SANTAQUIN — Red-faced leaders in Santaquin refuse to hold another ceremony for the new City Council after swearing in the council too early.

The incident has turned into an embarrassment for officials because the go-ahead apparently didn't come from the state elections office.

Santaquin was one of three Utah County municipalities that "made a mistake" when they swore in newly elected leaders before Jan. 7, said Amy Naccarato, Utah's elections chief.

"I don't want to say it's illegal, but they did not follow the scheme of the date and the law," Naccarato said.

Salem, Santaquin and Cedar Fort swore in their councils before Jan. 7. Cedar Fort has already re-sworn its council and Salem plans to redo it. Santaquin officials, though, say it isn't necessary.

City manager Roger Carter said the council will ratify actions taken during the swearing-in ceremony — but won't hold the ceremony again.

Santaquin officials say they initially scheduled the swearing-in ceremony for Jan. 7 — but switched the meeting to Jan. 2 after talking with state elections officials.

Naccarato says Santaquin leaders did not consult her office.

Rather, an official talked to the ballot printer, she said, without naming the official. Carter and City Attorney Brett Rich identified the official as City Recorder Susan Farnsworth.

When asked for comment, Farnsworth told the Deseret News, "I'm not going to discuss this with you."

Naccarato said she is leaving it up to the cities to square their actions with their constituents.

In Santaquin, only one new council member was sworn in, Wesley B. Morgan. The rest of the council, Mayor LaDue Scovill, Shayne Durrant and Frank Staheli, who were also sworn in, were incumbents.


E-mail: rodger@desnews.com