(KCPW News) The temporary head of Utah’s embattled Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control weighed in this morning on how to clean the agency up, in the wake of an audit that uncovered widespread mismanagement and alleged illegal activity. Speaking to a legislative committee, Francine Giani said the executive director of the DABC needs to report directly to the Governor and the Legislature, not the part-time DABC commission.
“And dang it, they need to be scared that when they come before you guys, they better have their act together, or else, because you hold the purse strings,” she told lawmakers. ” I don’t know that that fear existed down there.”
Giani, who is executive director of the Utah Department of Commerce, was appointed interim DABC director by Governor Gary Herbert after he demanded the resignation of former director Dennis Kellen.
As for the DABC commission, Giani says that should stay in place to handle the distribution of liquor licenses.
“That’s what needs to happen. Let them handle the licensees, so the executive director never gets a phone call from anyone saying ‘you’ve got to give my friend a license.’ Then you’ve got this commission out there doing that,” she explained.
Some of the allegations that have been raised against the DABC date back decades, before Kellen was director. Giani says very few people retire from the department, adding “we need to get the windows open, get the air out, and get new people in.”
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