SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, March 28, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Scott Miller, chairman of the Salt Lake County Republican Party, resigned early Sunday after widespread backlash over an email he sent out earlier that questioned the political motives of women who accused him and a volunteer of harassments.
Miller also took time to besmirch the women’s political acumen for their alleged failure to follow local GOP party plans.
The indignation spawned by Miller’s missive reached to the top of Utah’s political hierarchy, with Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson saying they were “deeply offended,” labeling the e-mail “reprehensible communications.”
Miller’s resignation email was shared on Twitter by Salt Lake County Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton, one of the women he identified as accusers after being interviewed about the complaints by Salt Lake Tribune.
“The Tribune quickly alleged one of the accusers is Ms. Aimee Winder-Newton,” Miller wrote. “Ms. Winder-Newton repeatedly accused us of offending her ‘good Republican donors’ Mr. Scott Anderson (Zions Bank), and Mr. Chris McCandless. Both of her ‘good Republican donors’ actually endorsed our Democrat opponents. One endorsed former Democrat County Mayor and then Democrat Congressman Mr. Ben McAdams in his race against now Congressman Burgess Owens. The other endorsed Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson in her successful bid against Republican challenger Trent Staggs.”
After the initial blowback Saturday, Miller generated another e-mail revealing a draft proposal for new a harassment policy for the SLCo GOP.
“I am immediately proposing to you a draft harassment policy for the Salt Lake County Republican Party, which provides a clear path for an investigation, protecting accusers, and providing a fair process for both those alleging and the accused,” Miller said.
Hours later, Miller made the decision to resign. In an early morning mea culpa, Miller thanked executive committee members for the honor of serving with them as chairman of the Salt Lake County Republican Party. “I have made a mistake with how I handled the complaints lodged by Republican woman and my recent communications. I am sorry…. I am immediately resigning my position as the Salt Lake County Republican Party Chairman.”
See the full letter at the bottom of this article.
Cox and Henderson issued a strongly worded statement Saturday in response to a letter sent to Salt Lake County Republican Party delegates by Miller.
The letter said he had met with a Salt Lake Tribune editor, who told him of seven women who made “salacious allegations” against Miller and one of his volunteers.
“The accusations by these women are very suspicious and it seems they have a personal and political agenda against one of my volunteers, against me, and against our policy of transparency and accountability,” Miller’s letter says, in part.
Miller’s letter went on to name or give other identifying information on the GOP women who had allegedly complained about him to the Tribune, and to speculate about their motivations for trying to damage his reputation. In some cases, Miller’s letter said things that were potentially damaging to the women’s reputations.
Cox and Henderson on Saturday issued a reaction to Miller’s letter:
“We are deeply offended by the recent reprehensible communications to Salt Lake County delegates,” their response says.
“Let us be clear: This type of behavior should never happen and when it does we will not tolerate it, ignore it, or explain it away. It is unacceptable.
“The Republican Party needs women in our policymaking and discussions. Sincere apologies are owed to the women who have been victimized and we admire their courage and strength in coming forward. That is not an easy thing to do.”
The Sunday morning resignation letter: