Attorney David O. Leavitt has announced his intent to run for Utah County Attorney as a Republican.
Leavitt, a former city and county attorney with nearly 30 years of legal experience, intends to pursue the GOP nomination through the county convention process.
“The power of an elected prosecutor should never be exercised for political purposes, nor should it be delegated to deputies who don’t have to answer to voters,” Leavitt said. “Unfortunately, that is exactly what’s happening in the Utah County Attorney’s Office. I’m running for this position to return accountability to the office and to eliminate politically-influenced prosecutions.”
Leavitt is a familiar face in Utah legal circles after having practiced law for 27 years. He served as Fillmore City and Nephi City attorney in addition to serving for eight years as Juab County Attorney. During that time, Leavitt gained prominence for his successful prosecution of Utah’s first polygamy case in 50 years. That case garnered international attention and was a precursor to other polygamist-related prosecutions in Utah, Texas, and Canada.
“I know the tough decisions that have to be made. I’ve made them,” said Leavitt. “I understand the problems of this office, and I’m prepared to solve them.”
In announcing his run, Leavitt promised to set the tone for ethical government in Utah County, personally oversee the filing of all felony cases, and hold the employees of his office accountable to ensure ethical behavior.
“I don’t need a job that’s a stepping stone to some other position. My decisions will never be based on how it will affect me politically,” said Leavitt. “My purpose is simply to serve the people of Utah County as their county attorney.”
Leavitt also has broad international experience. In 2004, he accepted an invitation to provide technical assistance to the Supreme Court of Ukraine. In 2005, Leavitt co-founded The Leavitt Institute for International Development, an international legal reform charity which provides legal assistance to Eastern European governments and teaches American law and advocacy in law schools in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, and Moldova. In addition to advising the Supreme Court of Ukraine, Leavitt has also served as a legal adviser to former Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko and the Moldovan Ministry of Justice.
Leavitt lives in Orem with his wife, Chelom, and their children.