State Representative Jon Stanard cited his father’s terminal cancer as the reason for a sudden departure from Utah elected office on Thursday, the same day call girl Brie Taylor released a text message conversation with the lawmaker, allegedly arranging private meet-ups in Salt Lake City.
The texts, obtained from Taylor by the Daily Mail, appear to show her making plans with Stanard for two hotel appointments on legislative days when he likely would have stayed in town overnight on official business.
According to the report, Taylor said Stanard paid her $250 for each hour-long session—the first on June 20 and another on August 22—during which she claims to have had oral sex and intercourse with the politician in his hotel rooms.
Former Republican Rep. Jon Stanard announced his resignation Wednesday for “personal and family concerns” but did not offer details. https://t.co/9p3igJiK4j
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 9, 2018
In a later text exchange dated Nov. 14, while unsuccessfully attempting to arrange a third rendezvous the next day, Stanard allegedly asked Taylor, “Any accessories/toys to bring?? Maybe a corset?”
Stanard, 43, who lives several hours away in St. George with wife Leanne and their three children, was first elected to the Utah House of Representatives in 2012. A family values conservative Republican policymaker, he voted last year for tougher prostitution penalties, raising the fine for soliciting sex to $2,500.
Taylor, 39, told the paper she found Stanard’s political stance “hypocritical because he is supporting laws that make it stricter for other men who do what he does.”
Republican House Chief of Staff Greg Hartley told the Associated Press he was investigating whether the hotel rooms in question were paid for by taxpayer dollars, though he confirmed Stanard had been reimbursed for his stays around the two dates in question. Communication between Stanard and Taylor may also have occurred on a cellphone provided to him by the state.
The text conversation was confirmed by the Daily Mail to have been initiated on March 7 by someone from the phone number matching Stanard’s profile on the Utah House of Representatives website. The chat begins when Stanard, allegedly having seen a listing for Taylor’s escort services online, reaches out to ask for a meeting.
Republican House Speaker Greg Hughes also told the AP Thursday that Stanard’s work phone had been electronically wiped prior to its forfeiture; therefore no text messages remained on the device. It was unclear to Hughes whether or not information could be recovered, though he said staffers hadn’t erased it, and assumed that Stanard himself had.
As Stanard is no longer a lawmaker, the legislative body is not planning an ethics investigation.
The AP additionally reports that Hughes was unsure whether or not the House would ask Stanard to return the money for his hotel stays.
“If there has been an abuse of public funds or if public funds were used in a way that’s inappropriate, we would,” Hughes commented. “I don’t have solid answers for those things. I would need to have a way that I would know conclusively that that is the case.”
[Feature Photo: Jon Stanard via AP//Rick Bowmer]