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Making the Malfeasance Case

Tired of elected officials who get away with all sorts of unconstitutional mischief? Don't wait for the legislature to pass a "recall" statute.  Go after them today for malfeasance.  Your actions can assist a court in forcing them out of office, or pressure the county attorney, district attorney, or even Attorney General to prosecute them.

Malfeasance is a fancy word for wrongdoing or misconduct in office. According to Utah State Statute 77-6-1, any officer or justice of the peace not liable to impeachment can be removed for high crimes, misdemeanors, or malfeasance.  This includes justice court judges and city and county elected officials and employees.  And the proceedings can be initiated by any taxpayer (see 77-6-2).

We will focus our attention on malfeasance.  Below are a few simple steps to make your malfeasance case:

Step 1: Read the entire statute regarding this procedure.  It is not long and is not difficult reading (unlike most state statute).

Step 2: Do some homework to establish a legitimate claim against the official or bureaucrat.  Find any state statute that will support your claim by visiting the Utah State Statute search engine.  You can type keywords here to narrow your search.  If you feel pretty confident you have a bona fide case, but just can't seem to find what you are looking for, e-mail us at info@accountabilityutah.org and we will attempt to point you in the right direction.

Step 3: Call your county courthouse and obtain contact information for the presiding judge of the district court that presides over your area. This is the person you should address your accusation to (see 77-6-4(1)(b)).

Step 4: Write the accusation in your own language.  Unlike just about every other judicial proceeding in today's corrupted legal system, the malfeasance accusation must be written "in ordinary and concise language" (see statute 77-6-3).  In other words, you don't need to consult a lawyer to write it and you don't need to beat around the bush.  Make sure you include any legitimate documentation you can obtain, as fully cited as possible so the judge can can read or find it quickly.

To assist you, we have provided a copy of the malfeasance accusation made by AU investigator Terry Trease against the former city manager of West Jordan.  We have separated the cover letter and each of the main sections listed on the first page of the cover letter.  This example is in .pdf format.  If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you will need to download a free copy

We have also included the response from the judge regarding that accusation.  The county attorney investigated the accusations and found that wrongdoing had been done.  The assistant city manager resigned almost immediately after the accusation was filed.  The city manager resigned several months later.

Step 5: Follow up in writing with the elected official person who is responsible to investigate your accusations.  Start with your county attorney (unless he is the one you are accusing).  If he does not appear to be actively engaged, contact your district attorney and then the state attorney general (see statute 77-6-4).  If none of them respond appropriately, contact us at info@accountabilityutah.org.

Step 6: Be prepared for the whining dog and pony show—particularly if the city or county level of government ever decides to debate the merits of the accusations.  Friends and relatives of the accused may come to bear their testimony as to his impeccable character and his high level of spirituality.  Keep your attention, words, and actions fixed on the wrong-doing and not on the personalities involved.


Remember, if you need free additional resource or moral support, e-mail us at info@accountabilityutah.org.  Perhaps we will be able to provide some assistance.



If you have comments or suggestions, please email us at info@accountabilityutah.org.


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