GOVERNMENT

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson responds to calls for Rep. Ferry to resign

Aug 24, 2022, 1:30 PM
Rep Ferry...
FILE: Rep. Joel Ferry, R-Brigham City, presents SB31, Water Rights Proofs on Small Amounts of Water, in the House chamber during the 2022 session of the Utah Legislature at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY —  Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson has responded to the Utah Democrats’ call for the resignation of Rep. Joel Ferry

“If Mr. Ferry won’t step down from his seat and have his name removed from November’s ballot, we will make the Lieutenant Governor do it for him.” Utah Democratic Party Chair Diane Lewis said in a letter released on Aug. 18.

 

In a released statement, Henderson said, “While I recognize the uncertainty of Mr. Ferry’s current situation, I make no conclusion regarding the constitutionality of his status as a legislator or as active director of the Department of Natural Resources. Mr. Ferry’s status as current or former legislator does not affect his status as a candidate and does not require me to remove him from the November ballot.”

In June, Gov. Spencer J. Cox appointed Ferry as the executive director of the Department of Natural Resources. However, before Cox’s announcement, Ferry held a position in the state legislature and is on this November’s ballot.

Utah Democrats argue that keeping Ferry on the ballot while acting in another government role, violates the state constitution.

According to Article V of the Utah Constitution, “The powers of the government of the State of Utah shall be divided into three distinct departments, the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judicial; and no person charged with the exercise of powers properly belonging to one of these departments, shall exercise any functions appertaining to either of the others, except in the cases herein expressly directed or permitted.”

Related: Joel Ferry refuses to take his name off the ballot

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Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson responds to calls for Rep. Ferry to resign