Story Details

Governor Huntsman Institutes Nepotism Policy

News Release
July 15, 2005

Salt Lake City, Utah * Utah Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., has approved the following nepotism policy for his senior staff members:

I. Subject to the legal limits of his authority, Governor Huntsman prohibits the hiring of any politically appointed Executive Branch employee who has an immediate familial relationship with a member of the Governor's senior staff.

II. Each member of the Governor's senior staff is required to inform the Governor upon learning that an immediate family member is being considered for a politically appointed Executive Branch position, or for any other position as to which the Governor could wield substantial influence.

III. For purposes of this policy,

a) The term "senior staff" includes (1) the Governor's Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, Executive Assistant, Senior Advisor for Economic Development, Communications Director, Legislative Affairs Director, and General Counsel, as well as (2) the Directors of the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget and the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice; and

b) The terms "immediate familial relationship" and "immediate family member" shall be construed to make this policy applicable to senior staff members' spouses, siblings, step-siblings, siblings-in-law, parents, step-parents, parents-in-law, children, step-children, and children-in-law.

"I hold my staff to a higher standard than what is required by law for state employees," said Governor Huntsman. "This policy will help us avoid any future perception of favoritism." Current state law requires that family members cannot be in supervisory positions over other immediate family members.

Consistent with the new policy, Governor Huntsman has also asked Layne Palmer, who has been serving as the International Hosting and Diplomacy Associate to step down. "Layne entered the system honorably and has performed well in his role," said Governor Huntsman. "In spite of that, we have asked for his resignation to be in compliance with the new policy."

The Governor added that the situation with Mr. Palmer drew attention to the issue and led to the institution of the new nepotism policy.

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