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San Juan County Tables Resolution to Sue County Attorney

Daniel Rayzel
Commissioners Bruce Adams and Kenneth Maryboy listen to citizens' comment at a Feb. 5 meeting. (KSJD File Photo)

The San Juan County Commission tabled a resolution Tuesday that would authorize a lawsuit against the county attorney.


The resolution states attorney Kendall Laws has not followed directives from the county, citing recently passed pro-Bears Ears National Monument resolutions. The commission voted in February to withdraw from a lawsuit intervening on behalf of the Trump administration, in which Laws said the commission’s conflicts of interest need to be reviewed before taking action.

The resolution would also authorize chairman Kenneth Maryboy to retain outside counsel.


Commissioners Bruce Adams and Willie Grayeyes voted to table the resolution. Adams said the resolution should be reviewed by the Utah attorney general's office.


Maryboy, who said the county felt “short-changed” by Laws, abstained from the vote.


“I was kind of hoping that we would pass it today, for the record,” Maryboy said.


Adams, a Republican, suggested holding a referendum to assess county support on Bears Ears. The new Democrat-majority commission has drawn criticism from residents for reversing the county’s stance on the monument.


“I just am uncomfortable with just the three of us trying to make a decision on Bears Ears,” Adams said. “I’m willing to accept whatever the citizens of this county vote to do with Bears Ears. One way or the other.”


The referendum is expected to be on the agenda of a future commission meeting.

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