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Money was offered to candidate to withdraw

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Another legal chapter likely ended Tuesday for the fiery chief of the Summit County Democratic Party. Rob Weyher confessed to offering money to a fellow Democrat while asking him to withdraw from a Statehouse election last year.

Weyher’s prohibited election activities got him convicted of a class B misdemeanor for which he could have been fined $1,000 and served six months in jail.

Instead, a judge suspended the jail time and ordered Weyher pay a fine.

The charge stemmed from a telephone call Weyher, who is a construction magnate, made last year to the boss of Josh Ewing, a Democrat from Salt Lake City, who opposed state Rep. Christine Johnson, D-Salt Lake City, during last summer’s primary election for the seat in District 25 of Utah’s House of Representatives, which includes voters in the Snyderville Basin.

Weyher confessed that he told Tom Love, Ewing’s boss at Love Communications in Salt Lake, that he would cover Ewing’s campaign expenses if the man ended his bid against Johnson, who defeated Ewing in last summer’s race.

Weyher, an embattled political insider, who made waves last year by championing controversial issues, was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.

Without legal means to force Weyher from his leadership post, Democratic infighting began as critics in Weyher’s own party called for his resignation.

Weyher, however, is poised to complete his colorful 2-year term as chair after he pleaded guilty in November to one count of alcohol-related reckless driving and attempted assault on an officer, both misdemeanors.

Terms of the so-called plea in abeyance arrangement Weyher struck with prosecutors required him pay $1,100 in fines and fees and undergo an evaluation by Valley Mental Health, according to court filings.

To comply with the deal that potentially allows Weyher to avoid jail time and larger fines, the suspect must not break the law for 12 months.

The charges stemmed from a traffic stop a Utah Highway Patrol trooper made near Kimball Junction on April 24, 2006.


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