(KCPW News) As the state investigates whether Dennis Kellen, former executive director of the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, violated state procurement law, his predecessor is defending him. Governor Gary Herbert demanded Kellen’s resignation last month. Former DABC Director Ken Wynn, who held that job for 30 years, says he was shocked by the news, and he’s anxious to see the end result of the investigation.
“I’m extremely confident that Dennis Kellen will be found not guilty of any violation of state law,” he tells KCPW. “Some of the people under him, those responsible for paying the bills, there may be some culpability, but I think Dennis is clean as a whistle on this.”
The state is investigating payments the DABC made under Kellen to Flexpak, a company run by his son.
The governor has assigned Utah Department of Commerce Director Francine Giani as interim director of the DABC. And Republican Representative Ryan Wilcox is confident she’ll do a good job in that role.
“Having worked with Ms. Giani in the past, she is the definition of a bulldog. I’m sure if there’s anything to be found there, that she’d be the one to find it,” says Wilcox.
Wynn and Representative Wilcox spoke on KCPW’s Politics Up Close.
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