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Kamala Harris visit cancelled, hosts say they were deceived

(Photo: Charlie Neirbergall, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY – An upcoming visit from presidential candidate Kamala Harris in Utah has been called off, and the people hosting the event say they were tricked into arranging it by someone who didn’t have the authority to speak for the campaign.

Officials from The Wave Women Inc. set up two events with Senator Harris.  The first was a luncheon for women, with a panel of prominent figures, like Harris.  The other was supposed to be Harris’ $200-per-plate campaign stop.  However, Harris won’t be at either one.

“To say that it’s heartbreaking is an understatement,” says Wave CEO Joanna Smith.

The company was informed of the problem when they received a call from campaign attorneys.  The company was also sent a copy of a “cease and desist” letter addressed to a man going by the name of Adrian Hebdon, who is the man that reportedly contacted Wave to arrange the Harris visit.  Campaign officials say Hebdon was promoting the event under false pretenses.

Smith says Hebdon did a lot of damage to their company.

“To have that taken away is really devastating.  We had a lot of people flying in for it and a lot of expense incurred to the company because of it,” she says.

A man who identified himself as Hebdon called the Deseret News, claiming he had done nothing wrong and that he actually signed up to raise funds for the campaign.  He acknowledged he has a criminal past, but claims he has been clean since being released in 2017.

Smith says the campaign knows the mix-up was not their fault.

“The campaign never once, even remotely felt like we were the problem,” she says.

She estimates the company may have lost $40 thousand so far.  Hebdon also reportedly borrowed Smith’s car, which she says is now missing.

“There is a case with the Salt Lake City Police Department and I know the Attorney General is looking into it.  From what we’re being told, the FBI will be involved because it has crossed state lines,” Smith says.