We’re completely despondent over here at Smartbomb at the recent sacking of Brent Overson as County Mayor Nancy Workman’s personal valet, confidant and henchman. They were such a good team; we hate to see it come to a premature end only 10 weeks into the new county government.
Let’s face facts: Were it not for former County Commissioner Brent Overson, Nancy Workman would be down in the County Recorder’s Office knitting a sweater for her granddaughter. Brent was the brains—some said puppet master—and Workman provided the pretty face (well, you know what we mean). Together, they were to continue what Brent started eight long years ago with then-County Commissioner Randy Horiuchi; that is, provide a playground for big-money special interests like the Boyer Company, Reagan Outdoor Advertising and Alliant Tech., to name but a few.
Nobody knows what happened. One day Brent was wielding power behind the scenes and the next his head was in the guillotine like Robespierre at the end of the long and bloody Reign of Terror. It doesn’t take a genius to surmise that he was taken down by a palace coup. Emerging in Brent’s place is Greg Curtis, who coincidentally is the Republican majority whip in the Utah House of Representatives. Henceforth, Curtis keeps the keys to the limo and carries the mayor’s cape
Was it High Noon or was it an ambush? One of the occupational hazards a gunslinger faces is that eventually there’s a faster gun—or someone who shoots you in the back. We may never know, but what is clear is that Nancy plunged in the final dagger. Et tu, Brent.
For us here at Smartbomb, it’s a real disappointment. We won’t have Brent to kick around any more. Bummer, man. Say, who is this Greg Curtis guy, anyway?
• On a more serious note, another Tribune staffer was in trouble with the law last week. Veteran reporter Norma Wagner, 39, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after her car allegedly hit and injured a worker for the Utah Department of Transportation. She is under investigation for allegedly failing to yield to a police officer and driving under the influence of alcohol. She has been fired from the paper.
Unlike previous incidents involving Tribune and Deseret News reporters, the story on Wagner did appear in the morning paper. Earlier a Tribune reporter was busted for soliciting sex and a Deseret News reporter was cited for ramming a parked police car. Both incidents showed up in the D-News but neither was found in the Trib.
James E. Shelledy, the executive editor at the morning paper, said this time it’s different. Wagner was on probation, he said, pending successful treatment for alcoholism. She was fired for violating the probation. The newspaper printed the story, Shelledy said, because the allegations against her are far more serious than the two previous incidents involving reporters and because her actions endangered the lives of others.