MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

'Shock and sadness' over allegations ex-lawmaker paid escort for sex

"Shock and sadness" over allegations ex-lawmaker paid escort for sex (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV)- Allegations ripped through the Utah State Capitol that ex-Representative Jon Stanard, R-St. George paid a local escort twice for sex.

“I’m shocked,” Mary Burkett, a friend of Stanard, who suddenly resigned from the Utah House on Tuesday night, said. “He’s one of the good guys in the House. I don’t know what to think, and I’d like to hear Jon’s side of it.”

The Daily Mail reported the claims from escort Brie Taylor; and the story included text messages, allegedly between her and Stanard, to set up their meetings in local hotels.

2News knocked on the door of Stanard’s home in St. George, but there was no answer. A call to his lawyer was not returned.

A neighbor in southern Utah called the allegations “absurd.”

“If these are true, it was clearly bad judgment,” long-time Utah lobbyist, Jeff Hartley, said. He called Stanard smart, honest, and “quick to grasp issues.”

But his resignation touched off a wave of speculation. Stanard’s social media accounts were closed, his legislative page swiftly removed, and Republican lawmakers were told Wednesday not to contact him.

And while Stanard is no longer a lawmaker, questions have been raised whether state money paid for hotel rooms where the alleged trysts happened.

“There are obviously a lot of allegations with regard to state cell phones, state hotel rooms,” Utah Senate President Wayne Neiderhauser, R-Sandy, said. He says he expected the House would take “appropriate” measures.

It’s unknown if the legislative staff has started to investigate, but Majority Leader, Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Layton, said if the public money went to hotel rooms and text messages, taxpayers should be paid back.

“If there was a misuse of state funds, we would do what we would do in any case, which is we would seek to have those reimbursed those back to the state,” Wilson said.

The state will pay for legislators’ hotel rooms when business is conducted at the Capitol.

A check of legislative calendars showed there were meetings of lawmakers at or near the time of the texts; but in most cases, Stanard would not have been required to be at those gatherings.

2News made contact with Brie Taylor on Thursday, emailed a list of questions to her, but did not receive a response.

Among other things, it is unknown whether she was paid for providing information for the story.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off

Trending