Opinion: Concerned about Housley appointment

As a citizen of this great state, involved with a family business, I am concerned about ethical problems involved with some who are appointed to positions by the Governor. In essence, I am at a loss to understand why complete background checks are not done on those who receive gubernatorial appointments (and their spouses).

For example, Kevin Allen was appointed to a judgeship in First District Court, even though he had outstanding financial problems with the Utah State Tax Commission. During his time as a judge, he has continued to have financial problems – even having Judgments entered against him. For instance:

Case No.: 126100587 (assigned to Judge Clint Judkins): Judgment entered on March 19, 2012 for $4930.41 for the 2009 year.

Case No.: 116100587 (assigned to Judge Clint Judkins): Judgment entered on March 28, 2011 for $669.73 for the 2008 year.

How can a man, who doesn’t have control over his own finances, make unbiased and fair financial rulings? The simple answer is that he cannot.

I am troubled about Governor Herbert’s recent appointment of Kymber Housley to the First District Court, replacing Judge Clint Judkins. Kymber Housley makes $164,471 (Utah’s Right to Know) as the Logan City Attorney. His wife Cassandra, makes $57,991 (Utah ’s Right to Know) as a teacher for Logan City School District . Together, they have a combined income of $222,462. Please explain to me how a man who is supposed to become a judge has his family financial assets in such disarray?

In the past few years, the following Judgments and Wage Garnishments have been issued against Mr. Housley’s wife:

Case No.: 119100835 (assigned to Judge Judkins) Credit Services of Utah filed a complaint against Mrs. Housley her failure to pay.

Case No.: 100102394 (assigned to Judge Willmore) FIA Card Services filed a complaint against Mrs. Housley and received a Judgment of $7623.20 on September 30, 2010. A Writ of Garnishment was filed on March 18, 2011.

Case No.: 100100279 (assigned to Judge Judkins) FIA Card Services filed a complaint against Mrs. Housley and received a Judgment of $13359.96 on March 30, 2011.

Case No.: 090102775 (Judge Allen) Discover Bank filed a complaint against Mrs. Housley and received a Judgment of $11415.71 on June 16, 2010. A Writ of Garnishment was filed on March 21, 2011.

Case No.: 090100020 (Judge Willmore) American Express filed a complaint against Mrs. Housley and received a Judgment of $49695.22 on April 14, 2010. A Writ of Garnishment was filed on February 1, 2011.

In all, Mrs. Housley has recent garnishments and judgments of $82,094.09. Yet according to Cassandra Nixon Housley’s facebook page, the family has taken vacations to Hawaii, Disneyland, Disney World and ski trips in the past three years; not to mention a lavish wedding reception for their daughter. It is clear that this family does not take their financial obligations seriously and have absolutely no plans to do so; if they did, they would be trying to take care of their outstanding debts and not incurring even more debt by taking lavish vacations and receptions. In essence, it appears that Mr. Housley and his wife have a scam going to run up as much debt as possible and try to get out of as much as possible. It leads the average citizen to believe that Mr. Housley and his wife are completely financially irresponsible.

I am troubled that a simple background check wasn’t conducted on Mr. Housley and his wife; Mr. Housley lives with his wife, and thus, sees great financial gain by this behavior. A simple background check would allowed the Governor to see that a man, whose family income is nearly a quarter of a million dollars but have a reckless disregard for their financial situation, should not become a judge making financial rulings.

According to the requirements of a judge, a judge must have integrity with personal and professional conduct that demonstrates adherence to high ethical standards. A judge should be financially responsible (which demonstrates self-discipline and the ability to withstand pressures that might compromise independence and impartiality)

How can Mr. Housley, who obviously has serious financial problems in his own home and family, be an effective judge with other people?

How can Mr. Housley make fair and unbiased decisions with an absolute disregard for he and his wife’s financial mess?

How can Mr. Housley expect other people to fulfill their financial obligations or order people to take care of their financial obligations, when he and his wife have such a blatant disregard of their own financial obligations?

As a partner in a family business, how can I believe Mr. Housley would hold people responsible for debts owed to us?

As a citizen of this great state, I am tired of ethical concerns for our elected officials and those appointed to positions of trust. I ask that this be stopped by having a policy that anyone considered for a gubernatorial appointment (and his/her spouse) have a complete and thorough background check. It is time to rein in unethical behavior.

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