CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Speaker of Utah House and Senate candidate Brad Wilson, facing lawsuit

Oct 11, 2023, 4:00 PM

Image of Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson as he announces his candidacy for U.S. Senate at a kickoff ...

FILE: Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson announces his candidacy for U.S. Senate at a kickoff party in Draper on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives and U.S. Senate candidate Brad Wilson is being sued for an alleged breach of contract.

In documents filed in the Third Judicial District Court for the state of Utah, plaintiff David Peterson, a former neighbor and co-worker of Wilson’s, alleged Wilson was in breach of contract and owed him a significant amount of money.

Neighbors become friends, then colleagues

The lawsuit said that Peterson and Wilson became friends while living in a Bountiful neighborhood and attending the same church. In 2006, Peterson said Wilson asked if he would join Wilson’s company, Destination Homes, as the Chief Financial Officer.

Peterson said he joined Wilson’s company, even though one of his conditions, that he would have an “ownership opportunity from day one,” had not yet been finalized.

The lawsuit alleged that the company had no equity and that Wilson, along with co-defendant David Bailey “were insolvent.” Despite the alleged money situation, Peterson claimed Wilson and Bailey “spent large amounts of company money,” with the purpose of making “Brad Wilson appear successful … as he wanted to run for the Utah House of Representatives.”

A loan, an expectation, a resignation

Despite the company’s alleged financial issues, the plaintiff claimed that he loaned $430,000 to Destination Homes. In exchange, he expected repayment of that money as well as the finalization of the original ownership agreement.

When the original ownership agreement was presented to the defendant, Peterson said it was for only 4.75% of the total common stock of Destination Homes. Despite the “lack of loyalty” by Wilson, Peterson said he signed the agreement anyway.

Not long after that, Peterson resigned from Destination Homes.

The suit claimed that Wilson is in breach of a signed agreement and owes Peterson funds agreed to in the agreement as well as lost interest on a loan Peterson paid to the company as well as attorney’s fees associated with the current lawsuit.

Brad Wilson responds to lawsuit

The Brad Wilson Campaign provided this statement from Wilson’s attorney in response to the lawsuit.

This lawsuit is baseless. David Peterson is a disgruntled former employee of a company that Brad Wilson co-founded. Peterson has sought to transform an unfounded, years-old dispute with his former employer into a groundless lawsuit against Brad Wilson with false allegations timed to smear Brad Wilson and hurt his political campaign. We intend to vigorously defend Mr. Wilson and pursue all available remedies.” – Chris Hogle, Partner at Holland & Hart, Counsel for Brad Wilson

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Speaker of Utah House and Senate candidate Brad Wilson, facing lawsuit