We’re lied to all the time. We were lied to about new zoning restrictions when Deedee Corradini announced the sale of one block of Main Street to the LDS church. We were lied to when Utah joined the suit against big tobacco in order to pay for health woes caused by smoking. And we were lied to when Gov. Mike Leavitt and SLOC President Mitt Romney said they would be vigilant about keeping the Olympics clean in the wake of the bribery scandal.
In last week’s issue of Salt Lake City Weekly, reporter Lynn Packer outlined how the Olympic movement seems to be in a business-as-usual pattern following the whitewash that focused the blame for the scandal on Tom Welch and Dave Johnson. In Part I of his report, “Olympic Poker,” Packer noted that California businessman Jim Easton landed a seat on the International Olympic Committee as well as SLOC after he entered into a contract with Alfredo LaMont, a close associate of Olympic Kingpin Juan Antonio Samaranch. Easton paid money but got nothing visible in return.
City Weekly also outlined how SLOC continues to do business with Jet Set Sports, even though it allegedly paid Welch and Johnson $131,000 in an off-the-books transaction. Jet Set got the contract with SLOC to provide Olympics packages for wealthy clients and could expect to take in $100 million in gross receipts.
Packer and City Weekly asked SLOC to put us in touch with the present chairman of its Ethics Panel. But when we asked on numerous occasions who the chairman was, no answer was immediately forthcoming, leading us to believe it wasn’t active. We wanted to ask about Easton and Jet Set Sports.
On Sunday, Jan. 20 in his weekly column, Tribune Editor James E. Shelledy bragged that since the bribery scandal was uncovered by Chris Vanocur at KTVX, his newspaper had broken most of the stories related to the bribery scandal. What he didn’t mention is that the Utah Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists awarded first place in investigative journalism to City Weekly and Packer for our coverage of the scandal.
In this issue, among other things, Packer found and talked with the “mystery law clerk” who was said to have mistakenly destroyed boxes of important documents that might have shown that Welch and Johnson didn’t act alone. Tom Benson told us that although he wears hearing aids, as SLOC’s outside counsel Jim Jardine had said, that he hears perfectly well, the inference being that he did not mistakenly destroy anything
Perhaps Mr. Shelledy should look into these things if he wants to “break” some more Olympic bribery-related stories.