Guest opinion: Recall David Leavitt

On June 7, 2022, the citizens of San Francisco, CA, voted overwhelmingly to recall their progressive District Attorney, Chesa Boudin. Progressive Los Angeles County District Attorney, George Gascón is now facing a second recall petition which needs to collect approximately 50,000 more signatures to be placed on a ballot. And just yesterday, members of the Pennsylvania House initiated an effort to impeach progressive Philadelphia District Attorney, Larry Krasner for “persistent dereliction of duty in willfully refusing to enforce current criminal laws already on the books . . . which are designed to keep communities safe.” I’ve heard that there are about 75 progressive prosecuting attorneys scattered throughout the United States. 

Residents of Utah County don’t have to look far to find one of those 75 progressives, one of them is the current Utah County Attorney, David Leavitt. And, just like Chesa Boudin and George Gascón, he puts the interests of criminals in our county above the right law-abiding citizens possess to not be victims of criminal misconduct. And he has openly admitted that his policies on criminal prosecution do not coincide with those of the Republican Party. We, as a county, this month have the grand opportunity to, in essence, “recall” progressive David Leavitt, and replace him with another who will enforce Utah’s laws, restore cooperative efforts with law enforcement, and hold criminals responsible for their actions. 

This past week I received my ballot for the 2022 primary election. I also received two fliers from David Leavitt’s campaign. As one who served you for about 27 years as a Deputy Utah County Attorney, and worked in David Leavitt’s office before retiring early due to Leavitt’s soft-on-crime prosecution policies, I was disturbed with the outward presentation of his being tough on crime. In reality, he’s as soft on crime as Chesa Boudin and George Gascón. Additionally, he indicated in the first flyer that he’s endorsed by CPAC. I, outright, didn’t believe that CPAC would endorse an openly progressive candidate so I checked its website. Sure enough, David Leavitt is NOT listed as an endorsed candidate by CPAC (see, https://conservative.org/endorsements/; accessed on 6/13/22). It seems that David Leavitt is not being truthful to residents of Utah County in this, yet, perhaps he can clear up this blunder up by presenting a verifiable letter of endorsement from CPAC officials. His apparent misdirection also extends itself into the second flyer and the way he presents statistics. If the reader is mindful, the misdirection can be spotted, if not, it will lead one to believe that, in bolded and larger text, “[Leavitt] continues to increase the charges against sexual assault perpetrators” to the amount of 6,266 cases in 2021 through the graph directly below the statement. In actuality, that number is the total number of cases filed by the office, not just against sex offenders. It says so in the statement below the statistical graph in unbolded and smaller font. He does the same with the second graph. The bolded and larger text seemingly indicates that the office filed 341 sex assault cases in 2021. Yet the unbolded and smaller text says that the 341 cases are the total number of cases referred to the office by law enforcement. We could easily dive deeper into the statistics, and office policies, by asking questions which would result in a showing that David Leavitt is very much soft on crime, here’s three: (1) Why do Utah Court statistics show that in 2021, Leavitt’s  office filed 45% fewer cases in the District Court, while increasing the number of cases filed in the Utah County Justice Court by 79%, from the average number of cases filed in each court during the years 2017- 2019?; (2) How many of the 341 sex assault cases which law enforcement submitted to Leavitt’s office in 2021 were declined, returned for further investigation, or actually had charges filed at the level established by state law?; and, (3) Why is Leavitt the only public prosecutor in the state that has openly stated that he’ll not seek the death penalty for any reason, no matter the heinousness of the murder? In February of this year the Fraternal Order of the Police issued a statement of no confidence in David Leavitt’s ability or capability to serve as the county’s lead prosecutor and set forth a multitude of reasons for their declaration. In March, former prosecutors in the office, with a collective 111 years of prosecution experience, including me, issued a public statement of no confidence in David Leavitt’s ability or competence to serve as the county’s lead prosecutor, and also set forth various reasons for the declaration. I urge all Utah County residents to review those documents at https://theleavittfactor.com before casting their ballot this year. 

Recently, David Leavitt implicated himself in a ritualistic sex abuse cult. No one in law enforcement named him as a suspect. He did it himself, and immediately called the victim “tragically mentally ill,” the allegations being investigated “lies”, and it all politically motivated. I find it disheartening that any prosecutor would refer to a victim of an alleged sex abuse in such a demeaning way. Is this how he views all victims of such offenses?; or just those that make accusations against him. Or are his actions indicative of a person with a guilty conscience. All of us should be concerned with this errant behavior, and his trying the case in the public forum. Before becoming a prosecutor I spent 12 years as a law enforcement officer. During that service I received some training on these types of satanic cults. I was taught that, depending on the level of depravity the cult had reached, their rituals can involve child rape, child sodomy, and other child and adult sex offenses, sexual orgies, animal and human mutilations, consumption or use of animal and human blood, and even animal or human sacrifices. Children that are trafficked into these cults by parents, and others, are controlled by threats of physical harm (or actual infliction thereof), including death, and rewards for obedience. They are trafficked to those outside the cult for money, and among the cult members as payment for things such as, favorable testimony in court hearings, letters of recommendation, recruiting others into the cult, or the bartered sale/purchase of material goods. David Leavitt has only indicated that he and his wife were reportedly involved in murder and cannibalism. Of course, this is probably just to make the allegations sound so outlandish that the alleged victim must surely be mentally ill to have made them, and to relegate the allegations to just tabloid-type news. It’s clear that David Leavitt knows what the allegations are, and therefore, must have some form of public document in his possession which details them. Why hasn’t he released the document to the public to prove his case? Is there more in the document about him and his wife than he’s stating in public? Is he fearful he’ll lose control of the public narrative and his desperate effort to discredit the victims and law enforcement if the public actually has the document to study? In any event, if the allegations prove to be credible and truthful, then the cult they were allegedly involved in was the most depraved type of satanic cults that can exist, and it was probably involved in more than just the criminal offenses stated by David Leavitt. As a prior prosecutor who screened thousands of cases, including sex offenses against children, and also prosecuted them in lesser number, I can with certainty say that evaluation of these types of cases for charging is challenging, and requires a weighing of each case on its factual merits and demerits (including the detail of the victim’s account), the victim’s ability and stability to assist in the prosecution and the lasting trauma it will inflict on the victim, and the laws and procedures which will govern the case. David Leavitt seems to want all to believe he’s taking the high road in this, when in actuality, his conduct so far has fallen short in propriety as the lead prosecutor in Utah County, in deference to an ongoing criminal investigation, and in consideration of a victim’s right to a fair thorough investigation into the allegations. In my experience, he seems to be acting much like a criminal defendant who has all the facts and the law stacked against him. 

All the above adds up to the need for Utah County residents to effectively “recall” progressive David Leavitt by voting him out of office this 2022 Primary Election. The Fraternal Order of Police supports candidate Jeff Gray in the county attorney race, as do other law enforcement officials, legislators, mayors, and the current Utah Solicitor General (see, https://electjeffgray.org). And though former candidate Adam Pomeroy’s name remains on the ballot, he suspended his campaign and is also supporting Jeff Gray. [Please do not vote for Adam Pomeroy on the ballot. Your vote will not be counted for any candidate.] I also support Jeff Gray. He is the only candidate now standing in the race who will enforce Utah’s laws, restore cooperative efforts with law enforcement to keep our communities safe, and hold criminals responsible for their actions. I urge all Utah County residents to vote David Leavitt out of office this year. 

Curtis L. Larson 

Former Deputy Utah County Attorney 

Utah County Resident