SANTAQUIN — Wanting to stifle criticism, Councilman Wesley Morgan had his oath of office re-administered last week.
"It only takes 30 seconds so why not?" the newest councilman said after the city was criticized for not following proper procedures for swearing in newly elected officials.
"I chose to do it," he said.
Morgan and other members of the City Council along with Mayor LaDue Scovill were sworn in Jan. 2 after city Recorder Susan Farnsworth reportedly received permission from state elections officials. State law says the oath should be administered the first Monday in January, which was Jan. 7.
Amy Naccarato, director of elections for Utah, said Farnsworth didn't call her office. The call was apparently made to the state's ballot printer, she said. Naccarato said the early swearing-in failed to follow the "scheme of the date and the law."
City Attorney Brett Rich said there is precedent for swearing in officials early.
Scovill and incumbent Councilmen Shayne Durrant and Frank Staheli declined to have their oath of office re-administered, although the council opted to ratify actions it took at its first meeting in January.
Elected officials in Salem and Cedar Fort, in Utah County, also were sworn in early, but oaths were re-administered following Naccarato's challenge.