January 27, 2012
CITY OF CEDAR HILLS, UTAH – On January 23, 2012, a letter was submitted by Paul Sorensen and Ken Severn to the Honorable Samuel McVey of the Fourth Judicial District Court. The letter includes accusations against Mayor Eric Richardson and City Manager Konrad Hildebrandt of operating outside City and State law. The accusations relate, amongst other things, to the golf course and the Community Events and Recreation facility. Mr. Sorensen and Mr. Severn are requesting an investigation and seek removal of the Mayor and City Manager from their current positions based on potential “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Mayor Richardson and City Manager Konrad Hildebrandt seek to express, to all of the residents of Cedar Hills, their belief that each of the accusations asserted against them is not true. It is their hope that an investigation, if any, will dispel any claims of misconduct.
“Initially, I want to emphasize that the the filing of this petition is tremendously saddening to me, as I am very proud to be the elected Mayor of the City of Cedar Hills. During my term as Mayor I have done my utmost to perform all of my duties and responsibilities by law, resolution, or ordinance. Further, I have tried to ensure that all of the laws, ordinances, and resolutions are faithfully executed and observed. I also believe that the City Manager Konrad Hildebrandt, has strived towards that goal in his position. I hope that the rest of the City of Cedar Hills will continue to support myself, and their elected City representatives during this difficult time, and more importantly, that the community will be able to focus on maintaining the positive, productive, and happy environment that we are known for in Utah, rather than dwell on this negative event.” – Mayor Eric Richardson.
Despite the City taking every effort to accommodate the requests of their citizens, in their January 23, 2012, letter to the Court, Mr. Sorensen and Mr. Severn are the latest to again unfairly accuse the Mayor and the City Manager, of, amongst other complaints, “Not properly securing building permit for the golf clubhouse and wedding reception center[.]”
Although Mr. Sorensen and Mr. Severn complain about the building permit, the January 23, 2012 letter, is careful to omit the fact that Mr. Sorensen unsuccessfully ran as a candidate for the City Council in the 2009 and November 2011 elections.The letter further omits that Mr. Sorensen ran as a candidate along with fellow member of the Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government to which Mr. Sorensen belongs, Jerry Dearinger. The letter fails to address that in June of 2011, Mr. Dearinger retained legal counsel, Craig Carlisle, of Ray, Quinney and Nebeker, to submit an application to the Board of Adjustment requesting that the building permit issued by the City for the Community Events and Recreation Center be deemed illegal. Thousands of dollars of the taxpayers of Cedar Hills’ money were expended because of Mr. Dearinger’s actions that forced the City to go through those proceedings and retain independent legal counsel, Peter Stirba, of the Salt Lake City law firm Stirba & Associates. The final outcome of that application resulted in the Board of Adjustment finding that the City had acted appropriately and denial of Mr. Dearinger’s request by a 3 to 1 vote after a threehour open hearing.
Given the fact that the matter is now before Judge McVey, Mayor Richardson and Mr. Hildebrandt do not intend to comment publicly further. The matter will run its course, and at its conclusion, both Mayor Richardson and Mr. Hildebrandt fully expect to be thoroughly vindicated.