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Workman paid daughter's pal

$7,500 in county money went for work not done

Turns out the Boys and Girls Clubs debacle wasn't the only legally questionable transaction involving Salt Lake County Mayor Nancy Workman's daughter.

In 2003, the then-boyfriend of Aisza Wilde (nee Workman) was paid $7,500 in county money for computer work that even Nancy Workman herself concedes was never done.

"It was just one of those things that didn't work out," she told the Deseret Morning News Saturday.

While District Attorney David Yocom declined comment, several sources at the county said the district attorney has investigated the matter and may still be doing so now.

Whether that investigation results in additional charges against Workman is unknown.

Workman said the boyfriend, Mark Hofstetler, wanted to do the computer work she had in mind but was stymied by county information services director Darren Franchow and chief administrative officer David Marshall.

That leaves open the question, however, of why Hofstetler was paid for work he did not do.

Marshall himself declined comment, but several county sources (as well as Workman herself, though she said she can't recall details) say that in early 2003, Workman approached Marshall about having Hofstetler make the county's Web site more interactive.

A meeting was set up between Workman, Marshall, Franchow, Hofstetler and a consultant Hofstetler brought in. Franchow and Marshall reportedly were unimpressed with the presentation, and as far as they were concerned that was the end of the matter. They heard nothing more about it.

That is, until several months later, when Hofstetler presented the county with a bill. With neither he nor Franchow having heard anything from Hofstetler, Marshall refused to pay it, according to county sources.

Workman conceded that, for reasons she maintains were beyond Hofstetler's control, "we didn't get our money's worth." Nevertheless she said she directed Marshall to pay the bill.

In response to Marshall's inquiry, Workman reportedly said she had received a report from Hofstetler on the work he had done. Marshall paid the bill in the summer of 2003 approximately.

Turns out that any report Workman might have received apparently was only verbal in nature. No written report exists.

Frustrated, Marshall shared the story with several members of the mayor's cabinet, and the account began circulating among county officials and employees.

Workman said she couldn't remember whether she considered withholding payment or giving Hofstetler only partial payment for his time involved in making the presentation.

Sources say Yocom reportedly called in Hofstetler during his investigation into the Boys and Girls Clubs to talk about the matter. Hofstetler has moved out of state and could not be contacted for comment.

Several county officials conceded that the fact that the mayor's daughter, Aisza Wilde, is involved in both the Boys and Girls Clubs matter and the Hofstetler matter looks bad for Nancy Workman, as well as the fact that in both cases, the people purportedly doing the work reported directly to the mayor. (In the Boys and Girls Clubs case, Workman signed the employees' time sheets, and Hofstetler made whatever report he made to her.)

Nevertheless, some county officials decried the fact that the Hofstetler matter is only now coming to light, at the 11th hour before Workman's preliminary hearing, which is scheduled for Monday.

Workman, who faces two felony charges of misuse of public funds, is accused of improperly using county money to pay the salaries of two Boys and Girls Clubs employees working under her daughter's supervision.

Some speculated that Saturday's developments are what special deputy district attorney Mike Martinez was referring to when he told the Deseret Morning News he had evidence "that hasn't come out yet."

"I don't really know about (the facts of the Hofstetler affair), but if the prosecution will do this they're willing to do anything," one county official said. "(Workman attorney) Greg Skordas was ready for this thing Monday, but now he's being played in the media."

Martinez could not be reached for comment Saturday.


E-mail: aedwards@desnews.com