ALL NEWS

Utah lawmaker sues US for $10M over trespassing conviction

Nov 14, 2019, 5:39 AM
republicans and mitt romney...
Phil Lyman, pictured above, says he plans to introduce legislation that would require all clergy to report child abuse to authorities.(Photo courtesy of Deseret News)
(Photo courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A former San Juan County commissioner has sued a federal land agency after he spent 10 days in jail for trespassing during an illegal all-terrain vehicle protest ride in a closed southern Utah canyon five years ago.

Acting as his own attorney, Rep. Phil Lyman filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court Friday against the Bureau of Land Management. He is seeking $10 million in damages he claims suffered to his reputation, business and political relationships.

“The BLM’s collusion with media, the U.S. attorney’s office, special interest groups was malicious, knowingly inaccurate, and calculated as an effective form of character assassination against Mr. Lyman,” the lawsuit said.

Lyman’s 2014 ride was a protest challenging federal management of western public lands, he said.

A jury found Lyman guilty in 2015 of misdemeanor illegal use of ATVs and conspiracy for organizing the ride through a canyon closed to vehicles due to the presence of Native American cliff dwellings. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail and ordered to pay $96,000 restitution. He served his time in 2016 and has since been paying off the fine in installments of $100 a month.

The first-term Republican Utah House member in his lawsuit accused multiple federal officials of lying under oath about the status of a disputed route through Recapture Canyon.

The lawsuit argues the agency “failed to follow its own administrative procedures in closing the area” to off-road travel in 2007 and alleges violations of the National Environmental Policy Act, Lyman said in the complaint.

It contends federal officials did not consult with local and state officials before the closure, as would have been required if the county had a federally recognized right of way in the canyon.

The federal agency does not comment on pending litigation, said Kimberly Finch, an agency spokeswoman in Utah.

Lyman submitted a federal claim in 2018 to the land agency that sought $2.5 million in damages, but it was rejected earlier this year, officials said.

The Department of the Interior told him if he objected he could seek reconsideration in six months or file a federal lawsuit. That deadline is less than two weeks away.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

In the golden age of space exploration we live in, cosmic revelations seem to occur more frequently...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

Cosmic seaplanes and self-growing bricks could help us explore other worlds

In the golden age of space exploration we live in, cosmic revelations seem to occur more frequently than ever before.
1 day ago
The Chinese national flag is seen at the entrance to the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing...
By Zachary Cohen, CNN

A look at China’s history of spying in the US

The suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that violated American airspace this week has fueled a diplomatic crisis with the postponement of Secretary of State Antony Blinken's planned trip to Beijing.
1 day ago
Around 3:15 p.m. Saturday, February 4, a 34-year-old female sustained critical injuries after being...
Waverly Golden

AirMed responds to tubing accident in Peter Sinks, Logan

Around 3:15 p.m. Saturday, February 4, a 34-year-old female sustained critical injuries after being struck by a snowmobile.
1 day ago
A balloon flies in the sky over Billings, Montana, U.S. February 1, 2023, in this picture obtained ...
Zachary Cohen, CNN

US military has shot down the Chinese spy balloon off US East Coast, US official says

The US military has shot down the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over the Atlantic Ocean off the Eastern Seaboard, a US official said Saturday.
1 day ago
The Goonies House...
Taylor Romine and Ralph Ellis, CNN

Man wanted for leaving a dead fish at ‘The Goonies’ house saved by Coast Guard in daring rescue

A man wanted by police in an incident at a house featured in "The Goonies" was the subject of a Coast Guard rescue when he was tossed from a stolen boat as it capsized, authorities said.
1 day ago
SLCPD said the driver is fully cooperating with the investigation and the children received non-lif...
Chandler Holt

SLCPD makes arrest connected to fatal stabbing case

SLCPD announced the arrest of 26-year-old Ivy Chase Grant today. Grant was booked into Salt Lake County Metro Jail on a charge of obstruction of justice. 
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Utah lawmaker sues US for $10M over trespassing conviction