Earlier this week, Governor Gary R. Herbert was notified of potential serious violations of state procurement law and the Governor’s ethics policy in the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC). Wednesday, Governor Herbert called for and received the immediate resignation of DABC executive director Dennis Kellen.
The Governor also requested an audit by the State Auditor’s Office of DABC procurement practices and the Governor’s Office provided the State Auditor a letter with the formal request just after 12:30 Wednesday.
“On their face, these findings are troubling. Even more troubling is the apparent pattern of mismanagement that is serious enough to warrant further investigation. I have lost confidence in DABC leadership,” said Governor Herbert.
“There is no latitude for ethical indiscrimination in public officers. Not only do I expect, but more importantly, the public expects, that those in public service will be held to the highest standard of accountability, especially when it comes to the use of taxpayer dollars,” the Governor added. “We have reached a point where it is clear the best judgment and leadership were not exercised in this agency. The audit will reveal whether further action will be warranted.”
After contacting the chair of the DABC Commission, Dr. Richard Sperry, today to ensure full agency cooperation, the Governor assigned Francine Giani, Executive Director of the Department of Commerce, to serve as interim director of DABC until a permanent director is identified. Giani will retain her responsibilities at Commerce during this temporary assignment.