“I’m no progressive,” says Utah County Attorney David Leavitt

Jun 9, 2022, 4:18 PM | Updated: 8:24 pm
Leavitt cannibalism criminal justice reform...
FILE -- Utah County Attorney David Leavitt speaks during a press conference at the Utah County Commission Chambers in Provo Wednesday January 23, 2019. Photo credit: Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah County Attorney David Leavitt is defending himself and his career after he was compared by a Utah defense attorney to San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. 

Boudin was subject to a recall vote this week. On Tuesday, 60% of the voters chose to replace Boudin — who is described as a progressive district attorney.

Boudin was targeted for a recall after he quit prosecuting juveniles as adults, lowered prisoner numbers during COVID-19, and ended cash bail.

“We have two cities. We have two systems of justice,” Boudin is quoted as saying.

“We have one for the wealthy and the well-connected and a different one for everybody else. And that’s exactly what we are fighting to change,” he said as reported by CBS News.

Recently, residents in San Francisco have seen a rise in burglaries, car thefts, and hate crimes against Asian-Americans, according to CNN.

Skordas: Utah County attorney ‘a progressive prosecutor’

Greg Skordas, defense attorney and former prosecutor, joined KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic to discuss the recall of San Francisco’s district attorney, where he said that there is a possible parallel in Utah County.

“So District Attorney Chesa Boudin who was recalled last night in San Francisco. We don’t have a Chesa Boudin here along the Wasatch Front or do we?” Debbie asked.

“We kind of . . . I think we kind of do. I mean, we have a prosecutor — and I liked Dave Leavitt. I really liked him a lot,” Skordas said.

“But when I look at some of the things that this prosecutor in San Francisco was weighing in on. For example, ending the use of cash bail, stopping the prosecution of minors as adults, lowering jail population. Those are some of the same lines that are being given by him (Leavitt), and he’s a progressive prosecutor. He’s a good prosecutor. He’s in for a real dog fight in his own party down in Utah County — but those are some of the same phrases that he’s using.”

Utah County Attorney candidate Jeff Gray will face Leavitt in the Republican primary on June 28.

Plea bargains are the problem, David Leavitt responded

“We thought it was only fair to bring you on to respond. Do you view yourself as a progressive prosecutor and does this recall in California send a message that maybe we’ve taken a step too far?” Dave asked.

“To your question, no, I am not a progressive prosecutor. I would not couch myself as a legal reformer,” Leavitt said.

“I would couch myself as a legal restorer. And there’s a big difference.”

He added that Chesa Boudin, the district attorney in San Francisco, deserved to lose his job because he wasn’t charging defendants with the crimes they were accused of committing. And that, he said, is lawlessness.

Leavitt has said in the past that his prosecutorial preference is to take a suspect to court.

“Let’s take these guys to trial. Let’s prove it to a jury. When the judge hears the evidence, there’s not a way in the world that the judge is going to give a light sentence to a violent guy if he or she has heard the evidence. So there’s a vast difference between me as a as a criminal-justice restorer and a guy like the guy in San Francisco who frankly should have lost his job,” Leavitt stressed.

“We give plea bargains, and what’s the result of plea bargains. What occurs when you give a plea bargain is the violent and dangerous people get lighter sentences.”


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

Curt Gresseth

Former U.S. Attorney for Utah talks about what FBI can take off your cellphone

A legal expert joined Dave and Dujanovic to discuss how the FBI can obtain evidence of a crime from a cellphone.
4 days ago
centerville arson fire...
Curt Gresseth

What’s behind random acts of violence in Utah?

What's behind a recent spate of random violence in Uta?. A sleeping couple at home in West Valley City is stabbed by an intruder. A stranger enters a home with three elderly people in Centerville and burns it down. Greg Skordas, KSL legal analyst breaks down what he thinks is motivating young people to commit random acts of violence.
5 days ago
Government contractors erect a section of Pentagon-funded border wall along the Colorado River. (AP...
Curt Gresseth

Yuma mayor talks about migrants illegally crossing into city: US has the laws to fix problem

An Arizona mayor talks with Dave & Dujanovic about migrants coming into the country illegally. He says the U.S. has the laws to fix the problems.
6 days ago
BYU study COVID money...
Elizabeth Weiler

Utah’s young adults being launched into the world of financial responsibility

Because young adults are rarely in personal high-income situations, they are categorized as low-income, making them at higher risk for credit card debt. 
6 days ago
EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 17: The line of scrimmage between the Oregon Ducks and the Brigham Young Cou...
Curt Gresseth

Reporter talks about ugly chant from students at BYU-Oregon game

A Deseret News reporter tat the BYU-Oregon football game on Saturday talks about the anti-LDS chant heard and filmed from the student section and what may happen next.
7 days ago
a tax form, 1040, is often used to file taxes...
Curt Gresseth

Americans pay more in taxes than food, clothing, education and health care — combined

On average in 2021, American consumer units spent $15,495 on food, clothing and healthcare combined, less than the $16,729 spent on taxes, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. Debbie thinks the figures are low. Dave said the report from the Bureau is a good example to show much Americans pay in taxes.
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
“I’m no progressive,” says Utah County Attorney David Leavitt